Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks kill ‘scores’ in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

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

    Read more

  • Kerry arrives in Israel to push for Gaza 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

France

Sarkozy tells leaders to reform or face more North African-style unrest

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-30

Echoing remarks from his European counterparts, French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned African Union leaders meeting in Ethiopia Sunday that political reform is needed across the continent to prevent uprisings like those in Tunisia and Egypt.

AFP - French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on African leaders Sunday to draw lessons from the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and to anticipate their people's desire for change.

Under fire at home for having initially continued to back the now ousted regime of Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the face of the uprising, Sarkozy hailed the "profound desire" for change on the part of the Egyptians and the Tunisians as he addressed an African Union summit here.

He echoed remarks published Saturday jointly with British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and condemned "violence, wherever it comes from (and which) is never a solution."

On the sixth straight day of riots in Egypt, casualties since the start of the protests stood at over 125 dead and 2,000 injured, most of them civilians.

However, if on Saturday Sarkozy urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to push ahead with reforms, he was less direct in front of African leaders.

"France respects the sovereignty of states and the right to self-determination ... but there are values that are universal ... all political leaders have to take them on board," he said, as the AU appointed Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a leader notorious for his brutal seizure of power, as its new chairman.

"In today's world leaders can no longer rule as they did in the past. Either you just let this change catch up with you and you leave the door wide open for violence sooner or later. Or you anticipate it and take it in your stride and then it can be accomplished without violence," he said.

"France wishes to see peaceful change," the French president said.

Date created : 2011-01-30

COMMENT(S)