France: A Clarification On Iraq

I feel obliged to correct some statements regarding France in "Embargo? What embargo?" (News: Analysis & Commentary, Mar. 20).

France's interests section at the Rumanian Embassy in Iraq was opened on Mar. 1, not Mar. 5. This means your subtitle was incorrect in stating: "Soon after U.N. Representative Madeleine Albright lobbied world leaders to keep shunning Iraq, France stationed an envoy in Baghdad." France's decision was taken before Representative Albright's lobbying efforts, not after. The decision had, in fact, been announced several weeks earlier (on Jan. 6, to be precise).

Contrary to what you state, France is not "the first member of the coalition that beat Saddam Hussein to open up a diplomatic office in Baghdad." It does not have diplomatic relations with Iraq. And the U.S. has had an office for American interests at the Polish embassy in Iraq for a number of years.

Jacques Andreani

Ambassador of France to the U.S.


Editor's note: Our story used the date that France's envoy arrived in Baghdad rather than the date the office was officially established. While both the U.S. and France have offices to represent their interests in Iraq, the U.S. relies on Polish officials rather than its own envoy.

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