French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Sunday urged the United States to reject isolationism after president-elect Donald Trump takes office and to remain “open to the world”.
Speaking at the World Policy conference in Doha before around 250 decision-makers and delegates, Ayrault became the latest senior Western politician to reveal apparent concern over Trump’s forthcoming presidency.
“We need an American partner open to the world, fully engaged, cooperating with its allies,” said Ayrault.
He added that Washington should “avoid at all costs” any attempts to become isolationist.
France would be working with the newly-elected US president because “the United States is a friend of France and because our cooperation is indispensable”, said Ayrault, a former premier who took over the foreign ministry in February.
His comments came just hours after French President Francois Hollande warned that US commitments to reducing climate change and global warming were “irreversible”.
Trump has previously claimed climate change was a “hoax” and promised to cancel the hard-won Paris climate agreement aimed at limiting warming.
Speaking afterwards to reporters, Ayrault shrugged off concerns that a Trump victory could pave the way for a French presidential election victory next year for far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
“Why compare the United States with France when each country has its own traditions?” he asked.
“I respect the choice of the American people but at the same time I trust the French people and their intelligence.
“I know that the French people also know that France remains France with what it represents in the world, its values and its role,” he added.