U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, using her highly polished French, ventured into this secessionist-minded province Tuesday and expressed a clear preference for a Canada that is both “strong and united.”
At the same time, Albright said Canada can count on its large neighbor to the south not to meddle in the politically volatile issue.
“The United States, as Canada’s neighbor, friend and ally, will not interfere,” she said.
Denis Turcotte, an official with the separatist Quebec government’s office in Toronto, said Albright broke no new ground in her remarks, sticking closely to the standard State Department position.
But he predicted the comments would get extensive coverage on Quebec television because Albright spoke in French. “It’s kind of a first for an American politician,” he said. “Her French is rather beautiful.”