Meet the Man Putting Paris in Motion

Ex-socialist is now Sarko's buddy and France's star politician
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2008 4:31 PM CST
Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs David Miliband, left, and his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt, center, talk with France's counterpart Bernard Kouchner prior to the start of the EU foreign...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Bernard Kouchner was once a card-carrying socialist hurling red ink at the American Embassy in Paris. Now, as France’s foreign minister, he’s President Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-hand man, helping to rebuild long-strained ties with the US. He also may be France’s most popular politician. The New York Times takes an in-depth look at the man who is redefining France’s place in the world.

Sarkozy and Kouchner have torn apart France’s post-World War II policy of stubbornly independent foreign policy, practicing what Kouchner calls “diplomacy in motion.” That includes buddying up to the US and wading headfirst into the Middle East. The reason Sarkozy and Kouchner "get along so well, which is kind of surprising, is that they prefer action to theory,” Kouchner’s wife said.