In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dominique de Villepin expressed his views during a meeting with local intelectuals. In Chile, said France is considering trying Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973 – 1990) in absentia.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said to Argentine intelectuals in Buenos Aires that he was “worried” about the unilateral approach to world affairs, PRAVDA.Ru source confirmed yesterday. Mr. de Villepin spent one day in Argentina's Capital as part of a round Latin American tour that took him to Santiago, Chile. He will also visit Brazil and Mexico later this week.
Earlier, in a news conference, Mr. de Villepin said in perfect Spanish that last months were “difficult for the international community”, answering a question about French position on Iraq. “We keep the same view on this conflict: to respect principles and rules of the world order”, he said.
French Foreign Minister did not want to answer about US led failed search of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Instead, he said that France believes that “collective security system is the only one available that can provide us with efficacy”. Dominque de Villepin also confirmed he would personally discuss the issue in New York with “my friend” Colin Powell, US State Secretary, this week.
As part of his visit to South America, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin also met Chile's socialist president Ricardo Lagos. In Santiago, he said France is considering trying Chile's former military ruler, Augusto Pinochet, in his absence. Mr de Villepin said France could prosecute General Pinochet for human rights violations committed against French nationals during the 1970s.
Mr de Villepin said Mr Pinochet could face trial in absentia for the disappearance of French nationals during his regime. According to information handled by the French government, at least three French nationals disappeared while in custody in Chile in the early 1970s. "Several procedures have been opened in France," Mr de Villepin told reporters in Chile on Monday. "That is a decision for the courts to make, and the possibility exists."
Pinochet is free in Chile, despite he was accussed of being responsible for the assassination of 5,000 people during his ruling between 1973 – 1990. The Chilean dictator, now 88 years old, has been declared “unfit for trial” by local courts.