February 18, 1997 in Nation/World

France, U.S. Patch Strained Relations

Compiled From Wire Services

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and French Foreign Minister Herve de Charette went out of their way Monday evening to pronounce a working truce in sometimes strained French-American relations, praising the two countries’ long alliance and each making nods to the other’s self-esteem.

Albright made a point of speaking the language of the host country in her introductory statement and some of her answers, at one point suggesting, in French, that the next question go to a French reporter.

De Charette praised Albright as “a very great lady representing a very great country.”

He said both countries agree on the aims of NATO adaptation and enlargement and will work together amicably before the alliance’s summit in Madrid, Spain, in early July.

Albright called bilateral relations “very solid and warm,” and she was careful to say that Washington wants to see France fully integrated into NATO, which Paris decided it would do only last year after decades of maintaining a parallel command.

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