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Chirac as Blair’s enemy

The week's news at a glance.

London

French President Jacques Chirac opposed the war in Iraq simply to undermine Prime Minister Tony Blair, a new book asserts. The book, Tony Blair, by Financial Times columnist Philip Stephens, cites confidential reports from British intelligence. The reports said Chirac felt that the charismatic Blair had “usurped his own position” as the dominant leader in Europe, and that Chirac hoped to use the debate over Iraq to isolate the British leader. “Blair came to believe it,” Stephens says in the book, “telling close aides that Chirac was ‘out to get him.’” French officials scoffed at the report, and the British prime minister’s office refused to comment.

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