The Franco-German alliance founded at the signing of the 1963 Elysee Treaty celebrated its 40th anniversary yesterday as both countries reiterated their opposition to Washington’s belligerent stance on Iraq.
“Don’t expect Germany to approve a resolution which would give legitimacy to war”, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany had declared at a SPD rally before yesterday’s meeting, a position which he repeated in a joint statement with Jacques Chirac: “Everything must be done to avoid a war” in Iraq.
This meeting sees France and Germany stand solidly together, with reinforced cultural, political and military links. More importantly, France and Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin declared today that the UN must decide as to the action to be taken , are member states of the UN Security Council with the right to veto.
The “moral imperative” mentioned by Donald Rumsfeld even before he was confirmed as US Defence Secretary, namely Washington’s policy of unilaterally pursuing its goals, not always made clear to the international community, and either bullying or ignoring those with opinions to the contrary, meets a firm counterweight in a united federal Europe and a newly invigorated Russian Federation.
The closer the EU member states stand together, the heavier and more important the weight of the union will be.
The voice of reason over belligerence gains credence among the international community, centred on a multilateral approach to crisis management, using the UNO as the proper forum for debate, including the LDCs and regarding the southern hemisphere as an equal, isolating Washington, like the school bully who nobody chooses to play for their team. The rest of the world seems set to move on, governed by a set of rules which seems befitting for the third millennium.
As for London, it has to decide whether its future lies within Europe, as a participative member of the union, or on the fence, always a junior member of Washington, while it is convenient.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru