Presidential Candidates Surfing on Wave of Islamophobia to Get Elected: French Senator
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – French senator and vice chair of the foreign affairs and security committee Nathalie Goulet said the country’s presidential candidates are using the issue of Islamophobia as a tool and surfing on its wave to win the forthcoming election.
“The main point is the common fight against terrorism and Fillon and Le pen also Dupont Aignan are pleading for a very strong regulation of immigration and a control of the Muslim communities despite the constitutional rules but they are campaigning and surfing on the fear and wave of Islamophobia,” Goulet told Tasnim in an interview.
Following is the text of the interview.
Tasnim: As you know, the first round of the 2017 French presidential election is set to be held on Sunday. In your view, how much of a role is foreign policy playing in the current presidential campaign?
Goulet: Unfortunately, not enough. French people have more interest in national issues such as employment. The only "foreign" policy is the European one as some candidates suggest a Frexit.
This campaign was not about program, visions, hope, or future; it was about the so-called corruption, court cases, fears, and mediocrity. It is the worst presidential campaign in history in a very scary international atmosphere, a big mistrust from the people. People dislike politicians and do not trust the system anymore. All that is very scary.
Tasnim: Do you believe that the result of the upcoming election will change France’s current foreign policy toward the Middle East region as well as the world?
Goulet: As for the policy regarding Russia, Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen both want to restore a full cooperation despite Crimea occupation.
The policy regarding the [P]GCC and more precisely Qatar and Saudi Arabia is linked with the need to fight extremism. Most of the candidates for different reasons are targeting the [P]GCC because it's very popular and may help them to collect ballots. I am not sure. Once elected, they may change anything regarding what we call “real politique".
On Palestine, major candidates reinforced their support for Israel without any hope of any recognition of the State of Palestine. Iran was not part of the debate according to my knowledge. The main point is the common fight against terrorism and Fillon and Le pen, also Dupont Aignan, are pleading for a very strong regulation of immigration and a control of the Muslim communities despite the constitutional rules but they are campaigning and surfing on the fear and wave of Islamophobia.
As a French Vice-chair of the Foreign affairs committee, I wish my country to take a bigger part in the international arena.
We may be very useful and instrumental regarding our excellent relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore the dialogue and trust between the major powers of the region.
We should also take our chance as the US policy under Trump is so unpredictable to push a solution to the Palestinian issue.
To be more realistic, I think that France, together with Germany, may lead a new vision of a common European policy, which is missing.
Europe is a power but we have to watch the same direction on to be strong and efficient.