There Was No French Envoy Mandated to Meet with Saddam Hussein
No French Envoy Mandated to Meet with Saddam
Letter Written by French Ambassador to the U.S.A.
Jean-David Levitte, Published in "The Washington Post".
Source: Embassy of France in the United States.
Washington .D.C., November 10, 2003.
The November 3 front-page article "Hussein Was Sure of Own
Survival" reported that "according to American officials," who remain anonymous,
the former Iraqi deputy Prime minister Tariq Aziz told of meetings between
French and Russian envoys and Saddam Hussein late last year and early this year.
These envoys "repeatedly assured Hussein… that they would block a U.S.-led war"
and that "he might buy enough time to win a cease-fire brokered by Paris and
- I deny those allegations as they are absolutely without foundation :
No French envoy was ever mandated to go to Iraq to meet with
Saddam Hussein or to give him any assurances.
In its message to the Iraqi authorities during the period
discussed in the article, France called upon the Iraqis to cooperate fully and
actively with the United Nations in order to achieve a complete and verifiable
disarmament of its weapons of mass destrction.
That message was passed through official channels only,
whether in Baghdad (through the French interest section), Paris (through the
Iraqi interest section) or New York (through contacts between the French and
France, which fully subscribed to the objective of disarming
Iraq, never ruled out the use of force as a last resort if Iraq refused to
cooperate withU.N. inspectors.
The article said that Mr Aziz's allegations could not be
corroborated. As they have no basis in fact, this is not surprising.