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Viewing cable 08PARIS130, PRESIDENT SARKOZY ARTICULATES HIS FRAMEWORK FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08PARIS130 2008-01-24 16:04 2010-11-30 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Paris
VZCZCXRO0980
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHFR #0130/01 0241636
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241636Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1769
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHMRE/AMCONSUL MARSEILLE 1961
RUEHSR/AMCONSUL STRASBOURG 0540
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 000130 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/WE, DRL/IL, INR/EUC, EUR/ERA, EUR/PPD, 
AND EB 
DEPT OF COMMERCE FOR ITA 
DEPT OF LABOR FOR ILAB 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV FR
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT SARKOZY ARTICULATES HIS FRAMEWORK FOR 
FRENCH FOREIGN POLICY 

PARIS 00000130 001.6 OF 003 


C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDED TAGS) 

REF: A. EMBASSY PARIS DAILY SIPRNET REPORT FOR JANUARY 13 
B. 2008 

SUMMARY 
------- 
1. (U) In this annual New Year's message to the Diplomatic 
Corps on delivered on January 18, President Sarkozy laid out 
a theoretical justification for recasting France's role on 
the international scene in the twin challenges before the 
international community: climate change and the "return of 
the religious extremism" as a factor in international 
politics. Sarkozy called for "four innovations" to prevail 
over these challenges: 1) returning France to the "heart of 
the occidental family," 2) dedicating France to a "diplomacy 
of reconciliation," 3) affirming "diversity" while demanding 
"its corollary, reciprocity," and 4) working towards the 
"construction of a world order adapted to the emergence of 
new powers and therefore capable of dealing effectively with 
the challenges of the 21st century." The specific 
initiatives Sarkozy said France would be pursuing during the 
coming year -- from reform of the UNSC to pressing for 
continued sanctions against Iran, from expansion of the G-8 
to the hosting of an Afghanistan donors' conference -- all 
link to Sarkozy's projected role for France as leading the 
way towards the international unity needed to meet the 
environmental challenge to humanity from global warming and 
the political challenge to secular democracy from religious 
fundamentalists. END SUMMARY. 

NEW YEAR'S BEST WISHES TO THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS 
--------------------------------------------- - 
2. (U) President Nicolas Sarkozy delivered the French 
president's annual New Year's best wishes to the Diplomatic 
Corps on the afternoon of January 18. Ambassador Stapleton 
and DCM Pekala attended the event -- remarks followed by 
reception -- at the Elysee palace. Traditionally, French 
presidents have used these events to review administration 
achievements and to unveil or re-iterate upcoming foreign 
policy initiatives. True to form, Sarkozy went beyond review 
of achievements and listing of initiatives, and laid out the 
justification for his projected reform of France's role on 
the international scene. Sarkozy began by pointing out -- as 
he does in connection with nearly every area of public policy 
-- "I was not elected to accept things as they are. I was 
elected to reform France through a continuous process of 
profound reform." He also underlined that France's foreign 
policy "had to stem from a lucid analysis, realistic about 
France's place in the world as the world is today." 

TWO GREAT CHALLENGES -- AND THE NEED FOR UNITY 
--------------------------------------------- - 
3. (U) Sarkozy's analysis of the state of the world today 
posits two great challenges -- climate change and religious 
fundamentalism. Sarkozy said that global warming's "menace 
to humanity" and the intention of "certain groups to impose a 
fundamentalist, hegemonic and intolerant" religiosity would 
"restructure international society in the 21st century 
possibly more than ideologies did in the 20th." Sarkozy then 
argued that these challenges could be successfully met only 
"on one condition" -- "finding the unity" necessary for 
concerted, effective international action. The four major 
"innovations" in France's international affairs posture that 
Sarkozy then claimed he had or was putting in place, and the 
range of specific initiatives that he said France would be 
pursuing in the coming year link directly, in Sarkozy's view, 
to fostering the international unity necessary for taking 
effective action against these two challenges. COMMENT: In 
his presentation to the members of the diplomatic corps 
Sarkozy projected as a candidate on the campaign trail -- 
working hard to win over his listeners to his way of looking 
at things. As he has always done in connection with his 
domestic reform campaigns, Sarkozy sets great store in 
bringing people around to share his diagnosis of the 
situation, from which follow the courses of action he 
proposes. END COMMENT. 

FOUR "INNOVATIONS" 
------------------ 
4. (U) The four foreign policy "innovations" Sarkozy claimed 
to be implementing are: 1) returning France to the "heart of 
her Occidental family," 2) pursuing a "diplomacy of 

PARIS 00000130 002.6 OF 003 


C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDED TAGS) 

conciliation," 3) affirming "diversity" while demanding that 
"its corollary, reciprocity" be honored by others, and 4) 
advocating a reformed international institutional order 
"adapted to the emergence of new powers and therefore capable 
of dealing effectively with the challenges of the 21st 
century." While he rejected previous government's use of the 
word "hyperpower" to describe the U.S., he did describe a 
multi-polar worldview with Europe become one of the active 
poles. 

5. In connection with the first, he evoked France's 
new-found closeness to the U.S. Sarkozy underlined that 
France was a "voluntary partner" of the U.S., and an 
"independent ally and friend," while clearly implying that 
France, for the sake of its own effectiveness and 
credibility, was right to abandon its pretensions to 
representing an alternative to U.S. leadership. Sarkozy also 
underlined, inQnection with France's getting back in step 
with the major western democracies, that doing so was key to 
advancing France's leadership role in the EU. He said that 
"it was France's ambition to see the EU emerge as an 
important global actor in the 21st century," and that that 
required "the development of an effective European defense" 
capability (ESDP) independent of NATO. He stressed that, in 
the face of today's "range of threats and crises" NATO and 
ESDP were complimentary spans of a single security and 
defense architecture for Europe. He said that France's 
new-found unity with the U.S. and new-found unity with its EU 
partners had reinforced France's leadership credibility both 
"internally," among the western democracies, and 
"externally," throughout the rest of the world. 

6. (U) Sarkozy argued that France's "diplomacy of 
conciliation" worked to attenuate differences, and, by 
implication, promote the unity necessary for effective 
international action. Sarkozy justified his recent dealings 
with Qadhafi and Hugo Chavez in terms of this constructive 
engagement, French-style, that he calls "diplomacy of 
conciliation." He went on to say that France's foreign 
policies would henceforth be anchored in the affirmation of 
"diversity, and its corollary, reciprocity." He justified 
the elevation of "diversity" to a guiding principle for 
foreign policies as follows, "Even more than the fight for 
democracy, it seems to me that the fight for diversity -- for 
openness, tolerance, acceptance of others in all their 
difference -- is fundamental. It is, in a way, the 
precondition for extending liberty and durably implanting 
democracy." Lastly, Sarkozy claimed the "innovation" of 
advocating a reformed system of multi-lateral institutions, 
and again justified these proposals as necessary for 
achieving needed unity in the face of global challenges. 

SPECIFIC INITIATIVES 
------------------- 
7. (U) Once he had dispatched the carefully constructed 
theoretical underpinnings of his framework for France's 
foreign policy, Sarkozy took up the range of specific 
initiatives that France would be pursuing in the coming year. 
NOTE: Sarkozy's speech, in its entirety, is available, in 
English, on the Elysee website at www.elysee.fr; in addition, 
post has reported separately (ref) on the outlook for 
France's Africa policy as reflected in the speech; 
furthermore, French policy under Sarkozy in the critical 
areas of Iran, Afghanistan, NATO/ESDP, and Middle East Peace 
have the subject of extensive and regular reporting. END 
NOTE. Among the most salient of Sarkozy's specific 
initiatives aimed at reforming international institutions are 
enlarging the Security Council in its two categories of 
members, and enlarging the G-8 to include, "progressively" 
China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. In addition, 
Sarkozy called for reform of the IMF, calling on it to become 
more inclusive of emerging economic powers and to develop a 
way of engaging the large international oil and other 
similarly profitable global companies, in financing the 
alleviation of poverty. He also said that "all must be done" 
to produce an agreement by 2009 up to the "colossal challenge 
of global warming via the Bali process." 

8. (U) He reiterated France's commitment to continuing 
sanctions against Iran, while aiming to return Iran to full 
respectability "once it respects international law." Sarkozy 

PARIS 00000130 003.2 OF 003 


confirmed that France would host the next Afghanistan donors 
conference. He said France would support "the process 
envisaged at Annapolis" to result "in the creation of a 
Palestinian State side-by-side to the State of Israel." He 
reviewed France's priorities for its upcoming presidency of 
the EU -- the Lisbon treaty, the environment and energy, 
immigration, agriculture, and implementing ESDP -- and he 
recommitted to "launching that important civilizational 
project," the Mediterranean Union. 

COMMENT 
------- 
9. (U) In this speech, Sarkozy did not unveil any new or 
unexpected initiatives, but he did attempt to link France's 
foreign policy initiatives to pressing international problems 
without referring to "France's glory" or "France's history 
and civilization". Sarkozy nevertheless articulated an 
ambitious foreign policy framework that should help guide our 
understand of the French approach over the coming months 
including during its Presidency of the European Union that 
begins in July. END COMMENT.