It looks that way, after French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner's arrival in our fair city. I heard Kouchner on C-Span radio in the car, live from the Washington Hilton, speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies--notably in English, with a delightful French accent--debating hecklers and threatening Iran, while simultaneously maintaining the necessity for dialogue backed by sanctions.
Here's the official notice of Kouchner's trip, from the French Embassy website:
Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner will be in Washington for an official visit on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, September 19, 20 and 21. This is his first visit to Washington since taking office.Meanwhile, the French Embassy is sponsoring a number of upcoming tributes to the Marquis de Lafayette, in honor of the 250th anniversary of his birth, and as a reminder of the historic French role supporting American independence from Great Britain....
The trip will underline the exceptional relationship between France and the United States based on the shared common values of freedom and democracy, in the context of a renewed transatlantic partnership.
The minister of Foreign and European affairs will have in-depth talks with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, before the opening of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York where the minister will accompany President Sarkozy.
Mr. Kouchner and Ms Rice will discuss the main international issues. In the wake of his trip to the Middle East, Israel, the Occupied Territories, Egypt and Lebanon, the minister will give his analyses of the regional situation and peace process, particularly with a view to the international conference which is to be held in November at the initiative of the United States. The Iranian nuclear question will also be a core issue in their talks. They will also be discussing Iraq, Lebanon ahead of the important election, which you know about, and the situation in Darfur and Kosovo.
The minister will also have meetings with the leaders of Congress.
The minister will give a lecture at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the United States, France and Europe in the face of the major international challenges.
As is customary, the minister will meet with the French community.