French Vote: What Does Hollande Mean for Foreign Policy?

New President Likely to Speed Up Afghan Pullout

With the ouster of Nicolas Sarkozy, most of the focus on the French election has been on what President-elect Francois Hollande’s victory will mean for financial policy in the Eurozone. Yet Hollande’s foreign policy is also a topic of discussion.

In particular, a lot of speculation surrounds Hollande’s foreign policy today because he has made so few comments with respect to it. Those familiar with him say he will likely remain hawkish on Syria and Iran, but that he will likely speed the Afghan pullout, getting French troops out of occupation duty by the end of the year.

Hollande’s only real comment on foreign policy during the election season was to say that if the UN authorized it, France would participate in the invasion and occupation of Syria, and to call Iran’s civilian nuclear program a “danger for world peace.”

French-born Israelis were quick to condemn Hollande based on comments that he was grateful for Muslim support in the election (inevitable since Sarkozy courted the far-right vote with repeated condemnations of Muslims in general), saying that he is a threat to France’s Jewish community. The European Jewish Congress has already vetted Hollande and termed him a “sympathetic ear” for the Jewish community, however.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of