PARIS – Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister of France, said Tuesday that whoever succeeds President Bush in the White House will have to restore the United States' battered image and standing overseas, the International Herald Tribune reported.
Speaking at the launch of a Forum for New Diplomacy in Paris, Kouchner said the United States will never be the country it was before the Bush presidency and will have to work to repair its reputation, especially since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
"I think the magic is over," Kouchner told the International Herald Tribune. "It will never be as it was before."
He added that, although it will take time, the new president will have “many means to re-establish the image” of a country whose reputation is suffering.
Kouchner also discussed holding out hope of talking with Hamas, the Palestinian faction that rules the Gaza Strip but has been ostracized by the West and by its Palestinian rival, Fatah.
"We have to talk with our enemies," he said.