Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

  • Netherlands to honour MH17 victims in national day of mourning

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Israel hits Gaza targets despite diplomatic push for ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

France

US security advisor on the 'direct' relationship between Sarkozy and Obama

Text by Philippe BOLOPION

Latest update : 2010-03-29

Ahead of a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to the US, President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor General James L. Jones tells FRANCE 24 that the relationship between the two men is strong.

Watch the full interview on FRANCE 24 on Monday at 9:45pm Paris time (GMT+2)

 

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 ahead of a visit to the US by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the US national security advisor, General James L. Jones, said relations between President Barack Obama and his French counterpart remained “very good”.

Sarkozy’s two-day trip to New York and Washington is designed to underscore the close relationship between the two countries at a time when many in Europe have questioned Obama’s commitment to the historical alliance with the continent.

The White House visit will also seek to dispel talk of a rift between Sarkozy – once considered the most pro-American French president in decades – and Obama, who will hold one-on-one talks at the Oval Office.

General Jones, a former NATO commander in Europe, said both presidents were in regular contact with each other and enjoyed a “frank and open” relationship.

“Both know exactly what the other is thinking without worrying about damaging a relationship – and this really saves a lot of time on serious issues,” he said, adding that “on the broad issues the two presidents and the countries are getting along very well”.

Afghanistan and Iran

High on the agenda for the visit are the foreign policy issues of Afghanistan, where France has a military presence as part of the NATO mission, and Iran, where Obama is pushing for tougher sanctions aimed at the country’s nuclear programme.

General Jones said Paris and Washington both agreed on the need for a new set of sanctions against Iran, which they hoped to push through the UN Security Council “by the end of April”.

Gen. James Jones on the Iran issue

“We are now moving towards a very aggressive set of sanctions,” he said, adding that the US was “working hand in hand with not only France but also the UK, Germany, Russia, China, and a number of other countries.”

Obama’s national security advisor also hailed the part played by European forces in Afghanistan, describing 2009 as “a banner year for cooperation” between the US and Europe. “Our friends and allies now make up 40% of troops in the country,” General Jones said.

He did however acknowledge that European powers were not spending enough to modernise their armed forces. “If you’re going to play, you have to pay, and there is not two ways around that,” he warned.

Obama is expected to press Sarkozy to bolster the French contingent in Afghanistan, but French officials have been quoted as saying they will send no more.


 

Date created : 2010-03-28

COMMENT(S)