PARIS – President Jacques Chirac said Friday that "coercive measures" should be used against countries that refuse to cooperate in the global fight against terrorism.
"Some countries will always try to shy away from their obligations," Chirac said during a traditional New Year's reception for diplomats at his office and urged "the adoption of coercive measures against states that refuse to cooperate.
He suggested the U.N. Security Council play a role in drawing up the measures.
Chirac said the destruction of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network in Afghanistan must be completed but warned against expanding military operations "unless there is irrefutable proof of the collusion of other countries in organizing the Sept. 11 attacks, or if they are harboring those responsible."
Defense Minister Alain Richard, meanwhile, said the multinational force in Afghanistan would only be deployed in the capital, Kabul, for the time being.
Richard told France-Inter radio a decision on sending peacekeepers elsewhere rested with the U.N. Security Council, but the situation in the rest of country appeared to be calm.
During a trip to Afghanistan earlier this week, Richard said France would contribute more than 500 troops to the British-led multinational force. Several dozen French soldiers have already arrived in Kabul.