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Sarkozy Tells Congress ‘France Loves America’

From France’s AFP:

‘We love America,’ Sarkozy tells Congress

by Philippe Alfroy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed the friendship between France and the United States and paid tribute to American sacrifices in World War II, in a rare address Wednesday to the US Congress.

“Since the United States first appeared on the world scene, our two peoples, the French and the American people, have always been friends,” Sarkozy said, as he emphatically drew a veil on years of cross-Atlantic tensions sparked by the Iraq war.

He received lengthy and warm applause as he arrived for a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and his address was met by several standing ovations as he heaped praise on the United States.

“We may have differences, we may disagree on things, we may even have arguments, as in many families,” he said, “but in times of difficulty, in times of hardship, one stands true to one’s friends, one stands shoulder to shoulder with them, one supports them, and one helps them.” …

Sarkozy was speaking a day after arriving in Washington for his first official visit since his election in May, and received an effusive welcome from President George W. Bush at an exclusive reception.

French-US ties soured under Sarkozy’s predecessor Jacques Chirac who firmly opposed the war in Iraq and the US-led invasion in 2003.

But Sarkozy, who is often called “Sarko the American” is one of the most pro-US French leaders in decades and clearly aims to show Bush and the Americans that France has turned a page on the past.

“The United States and France remain true to the memory of their common history,” he told Congress.

“Our duty is to remain true to the blood spilled by our children on both sides of the Atlantic in common battles.

“France will never forget the sacrifice of your children,” Sarkozy said, referring to the arrival of American troops on the beaches of Normandy to liberate the France from the Nazi occupation in World War II.

“At a time when my country had reached the final limits of its strengths, the time when France was exhausted, had spent its strength in the most absurd and bloodiest of wars,” the French leader said, “France was able to count upon the courage of American soldiers and I have come to say to you on behalf of the French people that never, never will we forget that.”

And he told US lawmakers that France would stay the course in Afghanistan.

“And let me tell you solemnly today, France will remain engaged in Afghanistan for as long as it takes, because what is at stake in that country is the very future of our values, and that of the Atlantic alliance.” …

The French leader reiterated on Wednesday his strong support of the US drive to deprive Iran of atomic weapons, saying to applause that “the prospect of a nuclear-armed is unacceptable to France.”

“The Iranian people are a great people,” he said. “They deserve better than the sanctions and growing isolation their leaders are condemning them to.”

“Iran must be persuaded to choose the option of cooperation, dialogue and openness … we will be firm and we will keep up the dialogue,” he said…

You know this must be killing all of the lefties, like Nancy Pelosi, who think they are being so Euro-chic in their rabid hatred of the US.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 7th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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