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France's Rendezvous With history

Earlier this week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said his country would end four decades of self-imposed isolation and return to Nato's military command.

Here, the BBC's Allan Little reflects on France's long journey to reconcile itself with one of the darkest chapters in its history and its difficult relationship with the US and the UK.

There is a story about a conversation between General de Gaulle, who, as president of the French Republic, telephoned his American counterpart Lyndon B Johnson, to inform him that France had decided to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty alliance.

Since its foundation nearly two decades earlier, Nato had had its headquarters in France. Now Nato would have to move.

Furthermore, de Gaulle added, it was his intention that all American service personnel should be removed from French soil.

"Does that include," Johnson is said to have


Added: Mar-15-2009 
By: drynwhyl
Tags: france, liberation, britain, america, paris, de gaulle, macmillan, lyndon, b, johnson, nato, sarkozy
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