Bernard Kouchner

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France: No More Combat Troops for Afghanistan

Minister says France will consider sending extra trainers

(Newser) - The 7,000 reinforcements NATO has promised to send to Afghanistan along with the American surge won't be coming from France. French officials have ruled out sending more combat troops to the country but will consider sending more trainers for Afghanistan's army and police, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told CNN... More »

Karzai Allies Get Tough on Recount

Afghan president's team blasts UN-backed election body

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai's camp is signaling he may not accept the results of a recount from Afghanistan's presidential election, sowing further doubt about the country's future. A spokesman said the recount process had been "politically manipulated," and Karzai allies spent the weekend criticizing the UN-backed electoral commission that is... More »

US Wades Into Chaos in Guinea

Clinton sends diplomat, accuses junta of 'criminality'

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton has stepped into the crisis in the junta-ruled nation of Guinea, calling for "appropriate actions" against the military government, which she said "cannot remain in power." Clinton took the unusual step of dispatching a senior diplomat, who pinned blame for the recent killings and rapes... More »

EU Urges Sri Lanka Ceasefire; 50K Trapped

British, French foreign ministers arrive on island as war rages

(Newser) - The foreign ministers of France and Britain arrived in Sri Lanka today and urged the government to accept a ceasefire in its war with ethnic Tamil rebels. Bernard Kouchner and David Miliband insisted that the fighting must stop now in order to safeguard the estimated 50,000 civilians trapped in... More »

Israel Rejects Ceasefire

Call it 'unrealistic'

(Newser) - Israel today rejected a 48-hour humanitarian truce designed to allow foreign aid into Gaza, CNN reports. Israeli officials said the deal, proposed by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, didn’t come with any assurances that Hamas would honor it. “The residents of the south of Israel must have a... More »

French FM Mistakenly Says Israel Can 'Eat' Iran

(Newser) - A slip of the "h" landed France's foreign minister in hot water yesterday, Reuters reports. Bernard Kouchner told an Israeli newspaper that a nuclear weapon would not protect Iran "because you will eat them before." France shot off a quick statement explaining that Kouchner, like... More »

France Warns Israel: Don't Attack Iran

'Talk, talk and more talk' to stop Iranian nuke program, Kouchner urges

(Newser) - The French foreign minister has urged Israel not to launch an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, Reuters reports. "There are those" in Israel and the Israeli army "who are preparing for a military attack," Bernard Kouchner told an Israeli newspaper. "That's not the solution." Kouchner,... More »

EU Threatens Sanctions on Russia

Asian alliance, including China, condemns aggression

(Newser) - The European Union is considering sanctions against the Great Bear over its incursion into Georgia, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said today, as EU leaders head to an emergency summit. And a Russian plea for support from the East was strongly rebuffed by members of an Asian alliance that includes... More »

Georgia Signs Ceasefire; Negotiators Head to Moscow

Kouchner brokers accord as new threats arise in Abkhazia

(Newser) - Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has signed a ceasefire agreement drafted by the European Union, which EU mediators will present to Moscow later today. Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, visited Tbilisi this morning and said that the Georgian leader was "determined to make peace." Kouchner will now try... More »

Irish Vote Could Make Stew of European Unity

Thumbs-down on Thursday would derail years of negotiations

(Newser) - European Union reformers are aghast at the possibility that Irish voters could derail years of negotiations Thursday with a rejection of the constitution-like Lisbon Treaty, the Financial Times reports. Ireland is alone among the EU's 27 members in offering citizens a referendum on the treaty, which streamlines and consolidates EU... More »

France Bails on Hostage Rescue Mission

Colombian rebels block medical help for Betancourt

(Newser) - A French humanitarian team is leaving Colombia after being frustrated in its mission to aid failing hostage Ingrid Betancourt, reports the BBC. The leadership of the FARC rebels, who have held the French-Colombian presidential candidate hostage for six years, refused to allow the team to provide Betancourt with emergency medical... More »

Merkel Will Skip Olympics

German chancellor says she's not protesting, but Czech and Polish leaders are

(Newser) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top German officials won't be going to the Beijing Olympics, the Guardian reports, joining Polish and Czech leaders who have pledged to stay away. But while Polish PM Donald Tusk and Czech President Vaclav Klaus said they'll be boycotting the opening ceremony to protest... More »

'Magic Is Over' for US: French Foreign Minister

Kouchner says new president can't undo 8 years of Bush

(Newser) - 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... More »

Meet the Man Putting Paris in Motion

Ex-socialist is now Sarko's buddy and France's star politician

(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 ... More »

Tutu 'Hopeful' About Kenya Mediation

Opposition calls for new election as condemnation grows

(Newser) - Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has said he is open to the possibility of a coalition government—if the opposition consents to his terms, Reuters reports. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said after a meeting with Kibaki that "there is a great deal of hope" in ongoing talks and that... More »

Sarko, New Squeeze Hit Egypt

French prez, Italian honey arrive on billionaire's jet, paparazzi in tow

(Newser) - Nicolas Sarkozy has flown to Egypt, where the French president will meet with his counterpart Hosni Mubarak after spending a few days on the Nile with new girlfriend Carla Bruni. Paparazzi staked out the airport before the arrival of the divorcé and the supermodel-turned-singer, who flew in on a private... More »

French Minister Backs Off Iran War Threat

"Negotiate, negotiate," Kouchner now says after storm of criticism

(Newser) - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner yesterday backpedaled on comments he'd made threatening war with Iran if it didn't drop development of its nuclear program. "The worst situation would be war, and to avoid the worst, the French position is very clear: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate," he said after criticism... More »

French Lefty Makes an Unlikely Hawk

Kouchner pleases US with Iran rumblings, but he's no sure thing

(Newser) - The founder of Doctors Without Borders might seem a peculiar mouthpiece for the new law-and-order regime of Nicolas Sarkozy, but Bernard Kouchner actually fits right in with France’s more muscular foreign policy tone. The surprise choice for foreign minister,  Kouchner is an anomaly, a Socialist who supports the... More »

France Warns of War with Iran

World should 'prepare for the worst," says foreign minister

(Newser) - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner yesterday threatened war with Iran to  halt its nuclear weapons program. France favors negotiations and sanctions but the world should prepare for military action if all else fails, he said in an interview on French TV. Iranian nuclear weapons would pose "a real danger... More »

French Prez Warns of 'Bombing Iran' Over Nukes

Sarko calls for more sanctions

(Newser) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy took a bead on Iran in his first major foreign policy speech yesterday, suggesting that if Iran's nuclear weapons program wasn't halted, bombing could be the only alternative. He called Iran's atomic ambitions "without doubt the most serious crisis that weighs today on the international... More »

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