Dominique de Villepin's visit in South Africa - Consulat Général de France au Cap
With his visit to London this week to meet Britain's Tony Blair, Mr de Villepin has also begun to reappropriate France's counter-terrorism policy. My dad, Dominique de Villepin, was the prime minister of France from to It was a big step that led me to find myself and develop my personality. me off, so I opted for Bath, where I studied international relations. Villepin achieved a measure of international renown during a stint as France's " It is very rare to meet someone like him," said Chirac of his protégé, . Villepin claimed some of these sites or groups served as part of a secretive support.
Between and he lived in India as an officer with the French embassy in New Delhiand he then returned to Paris, becoming head adviser at the Foreign Ministry on African Affairs.
Villepin was tapped to run Chirac's presidential campaign, which resulted in a victory for Chirac and the party.
Two years later, the RPR lost a general election that Villepin had urged Chirac to hold somewhat ahead of schedule. When he tried to submit his letter of resignation, Chirac refused to accept it.
A new prime ministerJean-Pierre Raffarin, appointed Villepin as the country's foreign minister. It was a job with immense prestige, but some of Villepin's political foes claimed that he was far too inexperienced for the post.
Nevertheless, he survived his first major challenge in the role, when a crisis in Ivory Coastthe West African nation, erupted soon afterward. Religious-fueled unrest led to an attack on French troops stationed in the country, and Villepin ordered a swift military response that decimated the rebels' air-strike capabilities.
My life: Arthur de Villepin
He also negotiated a tenuous truce to avoid further skirmishes. The United Statesdetermined to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Husseinwas claiming that weapons inspection teams sent to the Middle Eastern nation under the auspices of the United Nations were being prevented from carrying out their duties.
Bush was attempting to gather international support for a U. The Security Council 's resolutions are designed to maintain peace and stability between all member nations of the UN, and all signees to the UN Charter must abide by these decisions.
Sharon refuses to meet De Villepin | News | Al Jazeera
In January of Villepin warned that Europe would unite and oppose any unnecessary aggression toward Iraq. A month later he delivered an impassioned speech before the Security Council, reiterating the Chirac government's opposition to the use of force against Iraq. Germany also sided with France, while Russia and China were similarly wary of aggressive military action to oust an unfriendly ruler.
Villepin was the target of harsh words from the Bush White Housebut he reminded interviewers that the goal of civilized nations should be to promote peace and stability in the more troubled regions of the world, not provoke hostility.
- De Villepin, Dominique
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He responded to claims that he and France both harbored an anti-American bias by asserting that he had lived in the United States for five years, and enjoyed the experience immensely. Critics of Villepin pointed to his biography about the last hundred days of Napoleon, Les Cent-jours, ou L'esprit de sacrifice The Hundred Daysor the Spirit of Sacrificeand warned that the foreign minister seemed to be making a bid to reassert French power on the world's stage. Bell, in the New Republic, who went on to assert that the book "suggests that, in fact, he is a man lacking firm political principles, romantically besotted with raw political power, and ready to overlook misdeeds committed in its name—but only when the power in question is French.
His main rival within the party ranks was the equally young and charismatic French politician Nicolas Sarkozy, whose flair for a memorable media quip had made him France's most popular conservative politician, according to polls. His year-plus tenure in this post was a controversial one, highlighted by his stance against radical Muslim clerics who headed mosques or organizations among France's five-million-strong Muslim community.
Villepin claimed some of these sites or groups served as part of a secretive support network for international Islamic terrorism. As Interior Minister he issued a controversial law that required all Muslim clerics in France to take mandatory courses-offered only in the French languagethough only a third of them spoke it fluently-in moderate Muslim theology and French secularism.
On May 29,France held a referendum on adopting the European Constitution, the next step in a fully integrated European Union. French voters rejected it, which was widely considered a no-confidence vote for the Chirac government. A stagnant economy, high unemployment, and worries about pan-European rules forever ending some of the historic job protections that French workers still enjoyed were all factors that appeared to make voters uneasy.
Raffarin resigned as prime minister, and Chirac appointed Villepin in his stead.
Dominique de Villepin faces French 'trial of the century' as he denies smear campaign - Telegraph
France Dominique de Villepin faces French 'trial of the century' as he denies smear campaign Dominique de Villepin, France's former prime minister, will soon go on trial for his part in an alleged plot to tarnish the name of his political rival, Nicolas Sarkozy.
By Kim Willsher in Paris 9: In a few days' time the state prosecutor will be seeking the scalp of another aristocrat: Exactly years after a Revolutionary Tribunal sitting in the same chamber despatched the last queen of France to the guillotine, the atmosphere will be scarcely less poisonous when Mr de Villepin faces trial.
The former golden boy of the French government stands accused of involvement in tawdry plot to blacken the name of his former rival Nicolas Sarkozy, now president of France. The Clearstream Affair — as France's own Watergate is known — is a pernicious tangle of secrets, lies, spying and smears at the heart of France's political establishment. Related Articles General Rondot's notebook: Mr de Villepin, the tall fop-haired intellectual and pillar of French diplomacy and Mr Sarkozy, the brash, hyperactive outsider singularly lacking any diplomatic finesse.
The scandal dates back to when a judge was sent a list of businessmen, celebrities and politicians, among them Mr Sarkozy, alleged to be laundering bribes through secret accounts with the Clearstream bank in Luxembourg. The list turned out to be false and the accounts did not exist. In the resulting investigation, Mr Sarkozy became a plaintiff asking magistrates to find those trying to smear him, while Mr de Villepin, 55, became the accused, facing charges that he conspired to slander his rival.
Among the myriad of claims and counter-claims the three judges will attempt to unpick are whether Mr de Villepin was involved in producing the false list, whether the former president Jacques Chirac, who also detests Mr Sarkozy, was involved, and whether Mr de Villepin ordered the list to be leaked.
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Mr de Villepin vehemently denies all the allegations saying "the reality of the facts and the law has been twisted in favour of a single plaintiff" - who just happens to be the president of France. His supporters claim the case is all about revenge. Only six years ago as foreign minister he was enjoying his finest hour on the international stage after receiving a rare ovation from the United Nations Security Council for rallying opposition to the American invasion of Iraq.
Though reputedly aloof and arrogant, Mr de Villepin, the son of a diplomat and politician, is known for his intellectual brilliance and with a penchant for writing poetry. He is a graduate of the elite Ecole Nationale d'Administration ENA France's highly selective postgraduate college that trains top civil servants, speaks three languages and has degrees in civil law and French literature. Mr Chirac once said of him: It is rare to meet a man like him.
It was shortly after this appointment that an anonymous source wrote to a senior judge accusing a string of politicians, businessmen and celebrities of holding secret bank accounts in the clearing bank Clearstream. The accounts, claimed the source, were used for laundering bribes from the sale of French warships to Taiwan in