Remarks by Minister Cowen on Fortieth Anniversary of the Elysee Treaty
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D. today attended a joint French-German reception in Dublin marking the 40th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty between France and Germany.
Speaking at the reception, the Minister said :
“The permanent reconciliation and friendship pledged by de Gaulle and Adenauer forty years ago has been of great importance not just for the people of their two countries, but for the people of Europe and the world. It has helped cement peace and stability on our shared continent: and it makes clear that there is no conflict so bitter, no wounds so deep, that they cannot be healed with vision and generosity.
The importance of doing everything possible to avoid war and bloodshed, while resolutely upholding the rule of law, is very much in our minds at the moment. As members of the United Nations Security Council, France and Germany are playing a constructive and principled role in seeking to ensure that, in obliging Iraq to comply with its onerous obligations, the international community exhausts all the means at its disposal before contemplating the use of force.
The Minister noted that the partnership between France and Germany is not just a part of Europe's history but is at the core of the Europe's future development. Referring to their central role in shaping the European Union, the Minister said
“experience has shown that when France and Germany come together, their shared views carry great weight…co-operation between France and Germany may not be a sufficient condition for progress in the Union, but it is certainly a necessary one”