Report from the Washington Institute that considers the possibility that the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France may usher in a less accommodative EU policy towards Hezbollah. The report says that Sarkozy appears to see Hezbollah in a different light than his predecessor, Jacques Chirac. In a September 2006 closed-door session with Jewish leaders in the United States, for example, Sarkozy reportedly referred to Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization"—a sentiment unlikely to be stated by Chirac. During last summer's war between Hezbollah and Israel, Sarkozy defendedIsrael's right to defend itself against an organization he described as the "one aggressor" in the conflict. He also stated that France should have committed troops to Lebanon more quickly during the war.
Charles A. Kupchan, CFR’s top Europe expert, says Nicolas Sarkozy “is in pretty good shape” for the presidential runoff and it remains to be seen if Royal can cut substantially into the centrist vote to emerge victorious.
This paper from the German Marshall Fund of the United States looks at the troubled tripartite relationship between Poland, France and Germany. The paper says this unstable relationship – the so-called ‘Weimar Triangle’ – has made it difficult to coordinate relations between the three countries, but notes that recent meetings have seen leaders of the three countries put contentious issues aside and concentrate on finding solutions to outstanding problems.
France, experiencing a prolonged domestic malaise, is seeking to define itself again with an active role in the Lebanon crisis—one the United States welcomes, in spite of some differences, given Washington's own foreign entanglements.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »