Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine
Interview by "Le Parisien" Newspaper (Excerpts)
October 3, 2001
Should the Taleban regime in Kabul be overthrown?
Yes, but it isn't just another regime which must be sought for the Afghans,
that martyred people. They must also find a future.
Is there a risk of things going badly wrong if the United States doesn't manage
to seize bin Laden?
Many people fear that things could possibly go badly wrong. They would if the
United States attacked Arab regimes or countries without justification. That's
probably what the terrorists are seeking and it's precisely what the United
States wants to avoid.
Have the Americans asked the French to participate in military operations?
Basically, the Americans are organizing their military response themselves.
And they have asked some Central Asian countries for logistical facilities.
For the rest, if France receives specific requests, President Chirac and the
Prime Minister will respond in an open and constructive spirit.
How much time will be needed to defeat terrorism?
It's a long-term task. In the short term, there could conceivably be relatively
effective targeted operations to dismantle the networks. Then it will be necessary
to wipe out the sources of these networks' funding and the complicity they enjoy.
Finally, we shall have to eradicate the causes which, throughout the world,
are fuelling the terrorism. So we mustn't lock ourselves into a timetable, but
be resolute and determined, as we were back in 1999 when we presented to the
UN a draft international convention against the financing of terrorism. Now,
we're going to be followed, and that's very good.
Arab Communities in France
What would you like to tell the Tunisians, Algerians and Moroccans in France?
That they must be confident and convinced of the French authorities' determination
to do their utmost to avoid any amalgam [between Islam and terrorism]. But I
think I can say that, of their own accord, the French people have resisted and
will resist those temptations./.