Should the United States decide in favor of unilateral military action, the first question to be asked is whether such an action is legitimate; the second is what the outcome of such an action will be. As to the sentiment of France regarding a second resolution in the Security Council—assuming the United States continues on its current course--my country will do what our President stated at the outset [of the crisis]: we will not associate ourselves with any military action that does not have the support of the United Nations. Furthermore, we believe that a military solution is the worst solution. As to the use of her veto, having thus clarified her position, France, as a permanent member of the Security Council, will discharge her responsibilities and remain steadfast to her principles. You may be assured that France, in standing behind her principles, wiil remain faithful to them until the end.
French Foreign Minister Dominque de Villepin, United Nations, New York, 21 January 2003