Jacques Chirac

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One does not export democracy in an armored vehicle.

Jacques Chirac (29 November 1932 – 26 September 2019) was a French politician who was President of France from 1995 to 2007. He also served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988, and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.


  • Vous êtes mon ami personnel. Vous êtes assuré de mon estime, de ma considération et de mon affection.
    • Translation: You are my personal friend. Let me assure you of my esteem, consideration and bond.
    • Declaration on September 5, 1974, about the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
    • Aeschimann, Éric & Boltanski, Christophe (2006). Chirac d'Arabie : Les mirages d'une politique française (in French), Grasset & Fasquelle, pp. 64, ISBN 2246691214
  • La France est l'amie et l'alliée de l'Irak.
    • Translation: France is the friend and ally of Iraq.
    • Declaration in April 1986.[1][2][3][4]
  • Notre maison brûle et nous regardons ailleurs. La nature, mutilée, surexploitée, ne parvient plus à se reconstituer et nous refusons de l'admettre. L'humanité souffre. Elle souffre de mal-développement, au nord comme au sud, et nous sommes indifférents. La terre et l'humanité sont en péril et nous en sommes tous responsables.
    • Translation:Our house is burning and we look elsewhere. Nature mutilated, overexploited is not able to recover and we refuse to admit it. From North to South, it suffers from ill-development, and we are indifferent. Earth and humanity are in great peril and we are accountable.
    • Statement at the earth summit in Johannesburg Elysee.fr dated sept 2nd 2002
  • As far as France is concerned, we are ready to envisage everything that can be done under UNSCR 1441. [...] But I repeat that every possibility offered by the present resolution must be explored, that there are a lot of them and they still leave us with a lot of leeway when it comes to ways of achieving the objective of eliminating any weapons of mass destruction which may exist in Iraq. I'd like nevertheless to note that, as things stand at the moment, I have, to my knowledge, no indisputable proof in this sphere.
    • Source: Statement made during a joint press conference, Paris, February 10 2003
  • On n'exporte pas la démocratie dans un fourgon blindé.
    • Translation: One does not export democracy in an armored vehicle.
    • Jean-Pierre Raffarin, attributed to Jacques Chirac speaking to Silvio Berlusconi over the invasion of Iraq in 2003, 20 o'clock news, TF1, mars 11th 2007
  • Anything that can hurt the convictions of another, particularly religious convictions, must be avoided. Freedom of expression must be exercised in a spirit of responsibility. I condemn all manifest provocation that might dangerously fan passions.
    • Source: Statement made about free speech following the publication of Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed
  • Ne composez jamais avec l'extrémisme, le racisme, l'antisémitisme ou le rejet de l'autre.
    • Translation: Never make up with extremism, racism, antisemitism or rejecting whoever is different
    • Statement in Le Monde, dated mars 13th 2007, p. 10
  • J'ai été militant de l'ANC de Mandela depuis la fin des années soixante, le début des années soixante-dix. J'ai été approché par Hassan II, le roi du Maroc, pour aider au financement de l'ANC. [...] Je me souviens qu'à l'époque, le président sud-africain, que devait être Vorster, exerçait d'énormes pressions auprès de nos ministres pour qu'ils viennent en Afrique du sud. Un certain nombre de ministres français ont accepté ces invitations. Moi aussi, j'ai été très sollicité... Les dirigeants de l'Afrique du Sud voulaient nous faire croire que l'apartheid était normal, ou n'existait pas. J'ai déclaré officiellement, et de la manière la plus claire, urbi et orbi que je n'y mettrais pas les pieds tant que l'apartheid existerait.
    • Translation: I have been an active member of Mandela's ANC since the end of the 60's or the beginning of the 70's. Hassan II, the King of Morocco, talked me into helping fund the ANC. [...] I remember that at the time, the South African President, who must have been Vorster, was putting a lot of pressure on our ministers, so that they come to South Africa. A number of French ministers accepted these invites. I too was frequently asked to go... The leaders of South Africa wanted to make us believe that the apartheid was normal, or did not exist. I declared officially and most clearly, urbi et orbi, that I wouldn't set a foot there as long as the apartheid would exist.
    • L'Inconnu de l'Élysée, Pierre Péan, Fayard, 2007, p. 8 et 9
  • I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb. Having one or perhaps a second bomb a little later, well, that's not very dangerous. Where will it drop it, this bomb? On Israel? It would not have gone 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed. ...It is obvious that this bomb, at the moment it was launched, obviously would be destroyed immediately. We have the means -- several countries have the means to destroy a bomb.
    • Source:On Iran's nuclear program during an newspaper interview

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