French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said the United States should pull out of Iraq within one year and work with Iraq’s neighbours and Europe to resolve the crisis.
Villepin, in a speech on March 16 2007 at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, said that the war in Iraq has undermined the image of the West as a whole, and it is time for the United States and Europe to regain the respect and admiration of other countries.
Villepin said the situation in Iraq would grow “even more dangerous” unless a framework is established for ending the crisis that included “a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops.”
“I believe that it should take place within a year,” Villepin said. “That will allow Iraqis to feel that their future is in their hands and put them back on the path of national sovereignty.” The Bush administration has opposed any timetable for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq.
He also asked the United States to seek support of Iraq’s neighbours. “States in the region, from Turkey to Iran, from Syria to the Gulf States, must be mobilized in support of this process to ensure Iraq’s territorial integrity,” he said, expressing support for an international conference on Iraq.