Cartoons- Statement made by Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, at the Council of Ministers’ meeting
On the question of the cartoons and the reactions they are provoking in the Muslim world, I reiterate that while freedom of expression is one of the basic tenets underpinning the Republic, these also include the values of tolerance and respect for all faiths. Anything liable to offend the beliefs of others, particularly religious beliefs, must be avoided. Freedom of expression must be exercised in a spirit of responsibility.
I condemn all obvious acts of provocation, liable dangerously to inflame passions.
I also condemn all the acts of violence perpetrated against foreign nationals and representations anywhere in the world and reiterate that, in accordance with international law, governments are responsible for the safety of foreigners and their property on their territory.
I am asking the government to be particularly vigilant with respect to the safety of our nationals abroad./.