French Policy Toward the Arab World

Author/s: Charles Saint-Prot
1st Edition Year: 2003
Edition: First edition
Language: English
Available Languages: العربية
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Description

The lecture focuses on historical and current aspects of the relationship between France and the Arab World and addresses differences in French and US foreign policies toward Arab states as are currently highlighted by divergent positions on recent critical developments in the Middle East and the Gulf region. French policy towards the Middle East and the Gulf region is embedded in the wide context of a long-standing French interest and of historically grown relations between France and the Arab world.

After the Second World War, General Charles de Gaulle reaffirmed a policy of national independence of which one of the pillars was the strengthening of secular relations with the Arab World. Economic relations, that would support the economies in the region, were seen as promoting stability and strengthening political ties. President Chirac’s re-election in 2002 should allow for a significant boost to France’s Arab policy which is all the more predictable in that it is an expression of a traditional doctrine of inter-state balance, a political philosophy of independence and equality, and a strategic choice that is based on and favoring the principle of multipolarity.

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