France intends both to preserve her national identity and to help bring about the peace that she cherishes. She refuses to take refuge in the comfort of a neutrality that is nothing more than an abdication of responsibility in face of the great disputes of our time. At the same time she objects to every form of hegemony, whether detrimental or advantageous to herself; for she does not challenge anyone else's right to the rights she claims for herself. For in her position, with her calling and with her resources, how could she take part in the human adventure and in the construction of peace on earth if she renounced the exercise of political imagination, if she accepted the protection of an outsider and left to others the task of shaping her own history and behavior in the world?
Naturally there are certain higher objectives which supersede the immediate national interest, but a nation must appraise these objectives in complete freedom. While giving full consideration to the facts, and in consultation with others, it must retain mastery over the means which it devotes to pursuing these objectives. France's foreign policy is based on these very simple principles, which reconcile the demands of sovereignty and the need for concerted action with other states to advance world peace. At the same time, she must respect the legitimate aspirations of the disadvantaged peoples, indeed of all mankind.
This freedom of decision, which is the very definition of political individuality and which France claims as much for the common good as for her own, calls for autonomy of action. Clearly the freedom to conceive economic, cultural and political projects and the ability to act, even if it means choosing to coöperate with others, imply the freedom and capacity to resolve in accordance with our own interests the tensions and conflicts which ruthless international competition can make very dangerous. Our refusal to accept the state of tutelage generated in Europe by the rivalry of power
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