French Foreign Minister says ministry for human rights was bad idea
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was quoted Wednesday as saying that he had made a mistake in asking President Nicolas Sarkozy to create a ministry for human rights, reported dpa.
"I think I was wrong to ask for a junior minister for human rights. It's a mistake. Because there is a permanent contradiction between human rights and a nation's foreign policy, even in France," Kouchner said in an interview published in the daily Le Parisien on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"You can not govern a country's foreign affairs only according to human rights," Kouchner said. "To govern a country obviously distances you from a certain saintliness."
He praised the woman chosen to be France's first junior minister for human rights, Rama Yade, saying that she "did what she could, and did it with talent."
However, some French media saw Kouchner's statement as a form of political punishment for Yade, who this week refused a request by Sarkozy to head a slate of candidates for next June's EU parliamentary elections.
Kouchner's statements suggest that her post will likely be eliminated during the next government re-shuffle, probably in January.
The 31-year-old Yade, who was born in Senegal, was France's first black minister.