France ignores US snub

France will ignore a decision by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to not invite its representative to a conference of allied Air Force commanders, French sources said late Saturday.

    Rumsfeld has not  forgotten past differences with France

    The conference is scheduled for September, but a Defence Department spokeswoman could not immediately provide any specifics about Rumsfeld's move to block France from taking part in the gathering.

     

    "It is his decision. We'll respect it," the French Ambassador to Washington Jean-David Levitte curtly told CNN television.

      

    Downplaying Rumsfeld’s decision,  Levitte said “bilateral relations had improved” since the bitter spat following France’s opposition to the US invasion of Iraq. 

     

    UN credibility

     

    He attributed the improvement mainly to a meeting between French President Jacques Chirac and his US counterpart George W Bush, earlier in June at the Group of Eight summit in Evian, France, where the two leaders decided to put their

    differences aside.

     

    The ambassador said the US failure so far to find suspected Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) had underscored the credibility of UN weapons inspections.

     

    If at all, it would be preferable for the UN team to send its team to Iran and North Korea for an assessment, he said.

     

    The US decision not to invite France reflects the underlying tension between the two countries. At the recent air show in Paris, Washington diluted its participation and private US aerospace companies had just a token presence.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.