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Kouchner disses human rights job

When Nicolas Sarkozy named Bernard Kouchner as France’s foreign minister, we all wondered whether the Médicins Sans Frontières founder could reconcile his passion for human rights with the exigencies of raison d’êtat. Now, it seems, he’s admitted he can’t: “I think I was wrong to ask for a ministry of state for human rights. It ...

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When Nicolas Sarkozy named Bernard Kouchner as France’s foreign minister, we all wondered whether the Médicins Sans Frontières founder could reconcile his passion for human rights with the exigencies of raison d’êtat.

Now, it seems, he’s admitted he can’t:

“I think I was wrong to ask for a ministry of state for human rights. It was a mistake,” Dr Kouchner told Le Parisien newspaper. The remarks were particularly shocking, coming from the co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières and proponent of the “right to intervention” in countries that abuse human rights.

The reason for Dr Kouchner’s regrets? “There is a permanent contradiction between human rights and the foreign policy of a state, even in France,” he said.

Photo: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

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