Cablegate: Canada-France: Visit of French Pm Raffarin

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A


1.(SBU) DFAIT Director General for Western Europe Cecile
Latour and Deputy Director Denis Robert characterized the
brief (less than 24 hours) visit of French PM Raffarin to
Ottawa as an unqualified success. The visit originally was
conceived around Quebec's May 21-23 hosting of the annual
meeting of Futurallia, an international business alliance
(SME networking and "matchmaking") launched in Poitiers,
France, in 1989. Raffarin apparently took a vivid interest in
the development of Futurallia during his time as President of
Poitou-Charente region. Though the focus of the visit was
primarily bilateral cooperation in a number of areas --
including strong French interest in Canada as a model for
"decentralization" of the government -- PM Chretien did
commit to support a UN-led intervention in the Congo (a
"small contribution"), should one come to pass.

2.(U) In a joint communique on May 22, Raffarin and Chretien
welcomed the UNSC resolution on Iraq reconstruction as a
"credible framework" for mobilizing the international
community to assist in reconstruction of Iraq. They affirmed
the central role of the UN and Security Council in the
"collective treatment of regional crises and in responding to
the challenge posed by the risks of proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction" and confirmed support for implementation
of the MEPP Roadmap proposed by the diplomatic Quartet. The
two PMs declared the importance of a "new-generation
agreement" on Canadian trade and investment with the EU, and
mutual commitment to bilateral efforts ensuring the success
of the Doha Round. They reaffirmed commitment to prioritize
development in Africa through the G8 Africa Action Plan, as
affirmed at the Kananaskis summit, and agreed to "further
develop" dialogue on implementation of Kyoto Protocol

3. (SBU) During the joint press conference on Thursday,
Raffarin praised the UNSC resolution on Iraq reconstruction
as a very promising sign for the future. He asserted France's
solidarity with the U.S. -- particularly in the wake of the
bombings in Riyadh and Morocco -- in combating terrorism and
proliferation. The francophone newspaper La Presse reported
that while Chretien also saw the resolution as a positive
development toward enabling Iraq to regain its autonomy, he
nonetheless reiterated that he disagreed with the manner in
which the U.S. had imposed its will on the situation, noting
that this was "not the customary way to change a regime."

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