Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy asks to negotiate with Putin to end the war in Ukraine

by time news

2023-12-11 22:47:51

Nicolás Sarkozy (Paris, 1955) tells an anecdote that defines

The episode was narrated this Wednesday by the former French president at the presentation in Madrid of his book of memoirs, The years of struggles (Editorial Alliance). At an event at the Ritz hotel, Sarkozy defended the need to negotiate with Putin to end the war in Ukraine. “I am surprised by people who talk about Putin without having met him. I have had eighty meetings with him,” said the Frenchman. “How do you solve a problem without talking to the adversary? How do you solve it? By acting smart on television, saying that you have to send weapons and bombs?”

Sarkozy has been supported in his presentation in Madrid by the former president José María Aznar, whom he has defined as a friend, although “he has not always had an easy character”; the president of the Community, Isabel Diaz Ayuso; and the mayor of the city, José Luis Martínez-Almeida. Sarkozy says that Madrid is one of his favorite cities in the world: “I could live in Madrid […] It is Paris with less rain, more altitude, less traffic jams and a better mayor,” he added, in reference to Almeida and his counterpart Anne Hidalgo.

Regarding Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, Sarkozy believes that France must remain on Israel’s side, “because the Shoah existed [el holocausto]”, but at the same time remember that “It is not the Arabs who exterminated the Jewish people; Auschwitz is not in the Middle East, it is in Europe.” “Not because I defend the existence of Israel, I am on Netanyahu’s side: the two-state solution is the only possible one, also for Israel’s security.”

Sarkozy has criticized the United Nations, which for him should be the one to solve the problem. “Who knows the Secretary General of the UN?” he asked rhetorically. He proposes to create a new Security Council with more permanent members. The current one does not represent the world today: there are no African or Latin American countries, or India, the most populous country in the world, he argues.

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Presentation of Nicolas Sarkozy’s book EFE

Convicted and imputed

At the beginning of October, the judge charged Nicolas Sarkozy with illegal financing of his campaign with Libyan money, witness tampering and fraud in an organized gang. He was already sentenced for corruption in 2021 to one year in prison. The former French president assures in his book that his conviction and the pending trials are part of a unjust persecution against his person.

In these memoirs, his second in French, but the only ones translated into Spanish, he narrates the final years of his presidency of the Republic, between 2007 and 2012, marked by the management of the economic crisis of 2008. He recounts in detail the visit he made to Spain in 2009, in the middle of the euro crisis. He assures that the lack of regulation of financial markets was the cause of that global systemic crisis.

Consider that Spain is “one of the great nations of Europe”, but he does not quite believe it: “Sometimes I have thought that I believed more in the importance of Spain than many Spaniards,” he stated in Madrid. He highlights his collaboration in the fight against ETA from the relationship with our country: “In 2002 I said that France was not going to be the base of terrorists,” he recalls from his time as French Interior Minister.

Nicolás Sarkozy has highlighted how “he reached the top” of power despite not having belonged to the French elite. He has claimed the pleasure of struggle and the passion for life. He has not ruled out appearing again, in response to questions from Ana Blanco, the journalist who directed the event.

Obama and Carla Bruni

Sarkozy speaks at length in the book about his relationship with world leaders. He has defined Barack Obama as handsome but cold and very concerned about his image. He has bitterly recounted how the US president refused to issue a joint statement calling for a fair trial for Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, who he “liked” and who was ultimately executed. Obama told him no, because he would give a bad image to Egyptian youth. For Sarkozy it was a mistake: “I am a man of convictions, not of image.”

In The Years of Struggles, Sarkozy distances itself from the extreme right without hesitation. He calls her populist and irresponsible. He defends the need for a solid democratic right and the historic right-left two-party system.

About his relationship with the singer Carla Bruni, which catapulted the couple to world fame, Sarkozy claims that his fast, Mediterranean character was complemented by her slower-burning solidity of character. She has expressed pain over the mistake his father made when He announced in an interview with a German newspaper that Bruni was pregnant.

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