Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Chirac Overheard Expressing Concern over Hezbollah

"French President Jacques Chirac was overheard expressing his concern about the future of Lebanon due to the strong Hezbollah presence in the country.

A microphone accidentally left on recorded part of the conversation between Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Chirac at the Sixth Euro-Asia summit in Helsinki, Finland. The broadcast revealed Chirac’s concern about the future of the U.N. peacekeeping force to be deployed in Lebanon. According to the recording aired by the Spanish radio station Cadenaser, Chirac said: “In my opinion there won't be any problem for the next two or three months because Hezbollah is a little weaker. But in three, four or five months it could be dangerous. I’m a little worried about the future.”

French Ambassador to Turkey Paul Poudade said Turkey would be the stabilizing power in Lebanon. Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the opening of the French embassy to the public, Ambassador Poudade said: “Turkey has good relations with both Israel and Arab countries in the region. Thanks to these relations, Turkey will contribute to maintain peace and stability in the region.”"

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