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Bush Warned Against Comparing D-Day to Iraq
Published on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 by the Guardian/UK
Bush Warned Against Comparing D-Day to Iraq
by Kim Willsher in Paris
 

French officials fear George Bush will inflame anti-American sentiment in France this weekend by linking the D-Day landings with the invasion of Iraq.

Advisers close to Jacques Chirac have let it be known that any reference to Iraq during the 60th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France on Sunday would be ill-advised and unwelcome.

Both presidents will address second world war veterans and VIPs during a service at the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy.

"He'd better not go too far down the road of making a historical comparison because it's likely to backfire on him," said a source close to President Chirac.

He added that the French would not appreciate any public mention linking the events and said photographs of US soldiers torturing Iraqi prisons did not sit well with the image of D-Day heroes.

Anti-US feeling has been running high in France since Paris opposed the war on Iraq last year. Activists have called for a mass demonstration in Paris on Saturday to protest at Mr Bush's arrival.

Laurent Fabius, head of Mr Chirac's governing UMP party, said of Mr Bush: "He represents the exact opposite of everything we admire about America."

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

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