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France - Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Relations between the United States and France are active and cordial. Mutual visits by high-level officials are conducted frequently. Bilateral contact at the cabinet level has traditionally been active. France and the United States share common values and have parallel policies on most political, economic, and security issues. Differences are discussed frankly and have not generally been allowed to impair the pattern of close cooperation that characterizes relations between the two countries.

France is one of NATO's top three troop contributors. The French support NATO modernization efforts and are leading contributors to the NATO Response Force (NRF). France is keen to build European defense capabilities, including through the development of EU battle-group sized force packages and joint European military production initiatives. Defense Minister Morin supports development of a European defense that must complement, not compete with, NATO, which remains at the core of transatlantic security. French resistance, however, to efforts to reinforce NATO's reach beyond the North Atlantic region remain a source of contention.

France is a close partner with the U.S. in the war on terror. It cooperates with the U.S. to monitor and disrupt terrorist groups and has processed numerous U.S. requests for information under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. French security and intelligence services have rounded up hundreds of extremists in the past year. The French judiciary has upheld the pre-trial detainment of the four French former Guantanamo detainees. France is a strong partner in multiple non-proliferation fora and is a key participant in the Proliferation Security Initiative. Through the 'EU3' (France, the U.K., and Germany), France is working to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

France opposed the use of force in Iraq in March 2003 and did not join the U.S.-led coalition that liberated the country from the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein. Despite differences over Iraq, the U.S. and France continue to cooperate closely on many issues, most notably the global war on terrorism, efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and on regional problems, including in Africa, Lebanon, and Kosovo. On Iraq, the French agreed to generous debt relief for Iraq in Paris Club negotiations and have accepted the establishment of a NATO training mission there.

In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, France seeks robust U.S. engagement in the peace process. France is working to contain the Hamas-led challenge to the Palestinian Authority. President Sarkozy, like his predecessor, President Chirac, is committed to keeping France in supportive relations with Israel.

The U.S. and France have worked closely to support a sovereign and independent Lebanon, free of Syrian domination. The U.S. and France co-sponsored in September 2004 UNSCR 1559, which called for full withdrawal of Syrian forces, a free and fair electoral process, and disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias. In the wake of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005, the U.S. and France reiterated calls for a full, immediate withdrawal of all Syrian troops and security services from Lebanon. France also co-sponsored UNSCR 1701 and was one of the leading countries in Europe working to end hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 by committing 2,000 troops to UNIFIL-plus. Strong French backing led to adoption of UNSCR 1757 establishing a Special Tribunal for Lebanon to prosecute the perpetrators of the Hariri assassination and other killings of critics of Syria's interference in Lebanon. Foreign Minister Kouchner is working hard to help competing Lebanese political factions agree to a framework for governing the country in accordance with the country's constitution and free from external interference. France also participates in the U.S. Broader Middle East and North Africa initiative.

Trade and investment between the U.S. and France are strong. On average over $1 billion in commercial transactions take place between France the U.S. every day. In 2006 U.S. exports to France totaled over 24.2 billion euros and U.S. imports from France were valued at 37.1 billion euros. France is the eighth partner for total trade of goods (imports plus exports) and the tenth-ranked supplier worldwide to the U.S. and its 10th largest customer. The U.S. is France's third-ranked supplier and its fifth largest customer. There are approximately 2,300 French subsidiaries in the U.S., providing more than 481,100 jobs and generating an estimated $178 billion turnover. U.S. companies in France employ about 603,400 French citizens. The U.S. is the top destination for French investments worldwide.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Craig Roberts Stapleton
Deputy Chief of Mission--Mark Pekala
Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs--Josiah B. Rosenblatt
Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs--Seth Winnick
Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs--Robert Connan
Minister-Counselor for Consular Affairs--Catherine Barry
Minister-Counselor for Management Affairs-- An T. Le
Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs--James Bullock
Defense Attaché--Col. Ray Hodgkins
Counselor for Scientific and Technological Affairs--Robert W. Dry

Consuls General
Consulate General, Marseille--Philip Breeden
Consulate General, Strasbourg--Frankie Reed
Consul, APP Lyon--Harry Sullivan
Consul, APP Toulouse--Jennifer Bachus-Carlton
Consul, APP Rennes--Virginia Murray
Consul, APP Bordeaux--Kenneth Forder
Consul, APP Lille--Jeffrey Hawkins

The U.S. Embassy in France is located at 2 Avenue Gabriel, Paris 8 (tel. [33] (1) 4312-2222). The United States also is represented in Paris by its mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Euro Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.

Facts at a Glance
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Euro Exchange Rates

Notes and Commentary
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.

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