For Bernard Kouchner, the outspoken French foreign minister, George W. Bush's successor might be able to restore some of America's lost global prestige, but after 8 years "the magic is over." In a conversation with the International Herald Tribune, Kouchner—one of France's most staunchly pro-American politicians—offered a blunt assessment of the US's battered reputation, lamenting, "It will never be as it was before."
The foreign minister also touched on troubles in the Mideast, saying that while he's not ready to sit down with Hamas, nevertheless "we have to talk with our enemies." Kouchner reiterated that faced with globalization, disease and climate change, "there is not just a new diplomacy, there is a new world." Kouchner founded Doctors Without Borders in the 1970s before going into politics and abandoned the Socialist Party in May when Nicolas Sarkozy offered him the foreign ministry.