Statement by a Source of the Foreign Affairs Ministry
TUNIS, March 26, 2009 (TAP)- Questioned about the statements made to Jeune Afrique magazine (in its 22-28 March issue), by French Foreign Affairs Minister, Bernard Kouchner, a source of the Tunisian Foreign Affairs Ministry made the following statement:
Whether Mr. Bernard Kouchner seeks to make believe that he keeps taking an interest in human rights, that is his business, but when he self-qualifies his attitude concerning Tunisia as “full of nuances” and just spreads stereotypes and hackneyed clichés, he has no more say on this matter given the responsibilities vested in him at present.
In effect, the statements he made to Jeune Afrique are unfortunately, and as far as he is concerned, far from being credible.
When an official in the French government talks about “worried” or “jailed” journalists in Tunisia, he has first to check such allegations to avoid being mistaken about both the country and era, because it is quite easy to defy Mr. Kouchner to name a single case of a journalist who has been jailed for over twenty years. These are the facts. Here is the truth.
Whether Mr. Kouchner has personal reasons or motivations for occupying the media scene to live down certain “difficulties” he has absolutely no right to do it at the detriment of due self-restraint, a fact that he himself recalls in his statements.
Actually, this is not the first contradiction on behalf of Mr. Kouchner. One can certainly understand his longing for the passionate speeches about human rights, can also understand the existential crisis he must be going through time and again; but, by no means, should this justify ignoring the sacred respect of truth and of what actually occurs in countries which are just one hour’s flying time from the French shores.
This is one of the basic obligations on the part of a foreign affairs minister, provided that he has the least respect for it.