France seeks large role in post Iraq

  1. France Seeks Big Role in Post-War Iraq
    2 hours, 50 minutes ago

    By KIM HOUSEGO, Associated Press Writer

    PARIS - Worried it could be shut out of business deals in postwar Iraq (news - web sites), France is drawing up plans to win French companies access to lucrative oil and reconstruction contracts, officials said Tuesday.

    The government is determined that French companies will be part of rebuilding Iraq, despite President Jacques Chirac's vigorous opposition to the war, a Finance Ministry official said.


    Gilles Munier, an executive board member of the French-Iraq Association for Economic Cooperation, said business leaders and government representatives were studying how to gain a foothold in postwar Iraq.


    He said a meeting between France's most powerful business federation, government leaders and the French-Iraq Association for Economic Cooperation was scheduled for April 3.


    The Finance Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed discussions were underway with business leaders about Iraq.


    Some French are concerned that a U.S.-led administration in Iraq will favor companies from the United States and other pro-war countries while penalizing companies from France and other war opponents.


    The Bush administration awarded a $4.8 million contract Monday to a Seattle-based company to rebuild Iraq's only deep-water port. Washington is expected to announce similar deals soon.


    Officials in Paris say French firms' experience in working in Iraq would be an advantage.


    French companies-many with ties to Baghdad stretching back decades-have established themselves as the largest suppliers of goods to Iraq since a U.N. trade embargo was partially lifted in 1996.


    In 2001, France exported $705 million worth of goods to Iraq within the framework of the United Nations (news - web sites)' now-frozen oil-for-food program. Communications equipment maker Alcatel clinched a $75 million contract to upgrade Baghdad's phone network, and Renault sold $75 million worth of tractors and farming vehicles to Iraq.


    French oil giant TotalFinaElf probably has the biggest stake. It spent six years in the 1990s doing preparatory work on two giant oil fields and has signed two tentative agreements with Saddam to develop them.


    Munier said he believes American companies will have difficulties in Iraq because of widespread anger against the U.S.-led bombing campaign.


    "I don't see how American executives can work when their lives will be at risk," he said. "There will be such hatred toward Americans."


    Munier criticized French companies for negotiating with American companies for a piece of their businesses in Iraq, saying that such "collaboration" would damage the image of French business among Iraqis.


    Differences over how to run Iraq after the war have put added strain on already tense relations between the United States and several European countries.


    France opposes any U.S. reconstruction plan that would sideline United Nations development agencies, multilateral organizations and non-governmental aid groups.


    Chirac has warned that France would vote against any U.N. Security Council resolution that would give "the American and British belligerents the right to administer Iraq."

    um,ok.














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  2. 48 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    God knows I'm not in favor of this war, but---Jacques. Dude. Careful, or you're gonna trip right over that big steaming smelly pile o' hypocrisy.
  4. by   oramar
    We should all take pictures of our bare bottoms and send them to him.
  5. by   curious
    However, there is one thing that bothers me a little bit about this whole rebuilding business- French, American or otherwise. I've read that bidding with companies has already begun. But it disturbs me a little bit to read sentences like:

    "Differences over how to run Iraq after the war have put added strain on already tense relations between the United States and several European countries. "

    I thought that the whole point was that Iraq was going to run Iraq, not the US and/or other European countries. Why are they not waiting for at least a token idea of what government will be in place after the fall? Will the new regime not have any say in how their country is rebuilt? Or which companies are bidding? How does this work?? I am concerned this is reinforcing the image of America as an occupying force instead of a liberating one.
  6. by   SharonH, RN
    Originally posted by curious
    However, there is one thing that bothers me a little bit about this whole rebuilding business- French, American or otherwise. I've read that bidding with companies has already begun. But it disturbs me a little bit to read sentences like:

    "Differences over how to run Iraq after the war have put added strain on already tense relations between the United States and several European countries. "

    I thought that the whole point was that Iraq was going to run Iraq, not the US and/or other European countries. Why are they not waiting for at least a token idea of what government will be in place after the fall? Will the new regime not have any say in how their country is rebuilt?(NO they will not) Or which companies are bidding? (NO they will not) How does this work?? I am concerned this is reinforcing the image of America as an occupying force instead of a liberating one.

    Bidding? What bidding? Halliburton has already been awarded at least one major contract. You remember Halliburton, don't you? That is VP Dick Cheney's former company, the same one that did millions of dollars in business with Iraq up until 2000 when he was selected to be VP and he knew that they were going to have their shot at getting Hussein out and "protecting American intere$t$".





    Halliburton subsidiary wins Iraqi oil firefighting contract

    Tue Mar 25, 3:50 PM ET



    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US army said it gave the main Iraqi oilwell firefighting contract to a unit of Halliburton Co., a firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, without any bidding.




    Kellogg, Brown and Root, a unit of Houston, Texas-based Halliburton, was handed the contract by the Army Corps of Engineers, which has been placed in charge of fighting the blazes.


    The contract had not been put out to tender, said the Corps spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Gene Pawlik.


    Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) had already been asked by the Pentagon to draw up plans for extinguishing oil well fires in Iraq, Pawlik noted.


    "It made the most sense to engage them in the near term as the company to get the mission done because they were familiar with the details of the fires themselves and what would be needed," he said. (yeah, right)



    The value of the contract would depend on the scale of the work.


    The chief of Britain's armed forces, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, said Friday that Iraqi forces had set fire to seven oil wells in the south of the country.


    KBR would claim the cost of its services plus two to five percent depending on how it executed the job, Pawlik said.


    "KBR was selected for this award based on the fact that KBR is the only contractor that could commence implementing the complex contingency plan on extremely short notice," the company said in a statement.


    KBR said it had teams of well control and engineering contractors preparing the initial phase.


    The company was given a free hand to choose subcontractors for the work, the Corps spokesman said.


    KBR chose Houston-based Boots and Coots International, with which it has a services and equipment partnership, and Wild Well Control Inc. as firefighting subcontractors.


    President George W. Bush spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said he did not have the details.


    Asked about the contracting process, Fleischer told a news conference: "The question that people want to be answered is we have a plan in place to put out the oil fires. Refer your question to the agencies involved. I am not familiar with the details of this contract."


    In a statement late Monday, the Defense Department said the Army Corps of Engineers would rely largely on contractors to extinguish the oil well fires and assess the damage to facilities.


    Kellogg, Brown and Root was the prime contractor for the initial phase, Pentagon said. The contract would be in force for an interim period, until additional contracts were procured, it said.


    Subcontractor Boots and Coots(gotta love those names) welcomed its selection.





    "We have surveyed these wells and are preparing to mobilize the equipment," Boots and Coots president Brian Krause said in a statement.

    "We will begin stabilization of the wells once the location around the wells is secure," he said.

    Boots and Coots was brought into Kuwait in 1991 to control about 240 of more than 700 burning wells following the Gulf War, it said.

    Cheney was chief executive of the KBR parent company Halliburton, a major oil services company, for five years until 2000.



    Seems like there's plenty of corruption and hypocrisy to go around.




    Halliburtion wins contract
  7. by   Hardknox
    France and Chirac will learn the same lesson as Saddam: "Ne messez pas avec le Texas!"
  8. by   molecule
    Boots and Coots has been having financial problems, almost bankrupt. Lucky for them this contract.
  9. by   SharonH, RN
    Originally posted by molecule
    Boots and Coots has been having financial problems, almost bankrupt. Lucky for them this contract.

    Yes, very "lucky".
  10. by   rncountry
    How did I know this thread would quickly go right into something like this? Talk about France and it's expectations? Why would I want to do that?

    "Boots and Coots was brought into Kuwait in 1991 to control about 240 of more than 700 burning wells following the Gulf War, it said."

    Couldn't have anything to do with experience or anything like that could it? Obviously not.

    Maybe we should just let France do it all, then THEY could be occupiers and money hungry greed hogs. Oops, sorry, they'd simply be providing to the Iraqi people that they know so much better, a service, out of the goodness of their hearts.
  11. by   Mkue
    Interesting, this evening I overheard part of an interview with a US Physician originally from Iraq who stated that evidence will be found in Baghdad linking France to SH's Regime and WMD.. time will tell. I would love to find a link or the whole story.
  12. by   natsfanrn
    Originally posted by rncountry
    .
    Officials in Paris say French firms' experience in working in Iraq would be an advantage.

    French companies-many with ties to Baghdad stretching back decades-have established themselves as the largest suppliers of goods to Iraq since a U.N. trade embargo was partially lifted in 1996.
    Um, yeah, like helicoptor parts and other stuff that we'll be unearthing in the weeks ahead...

    As for the oil well fire contract, bidding for a government contract isn't exactly a speedy process. Could just imagine the outcry when those oil wells are still burning months from now while some bureaucrat in DC sits in his office comparing bids...
  13. by   nurs4kids
    Hubby was asking me and now I'm curious..

    what type items are imported into the US from France??
  14. by   natsfanrn
    wine and Michelin tires are two that spring immediately to my mind...

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