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(Paris-AP) -- An official in France says his government "rejoices" in the fall of Saddam Hussein. France, of course, led the opposition in the U-N Security Council to a war in Iraq.
But France's prime minister says his country has always sided with democracies against dictators. He calls the events in Baghdad "a victory for democracy" -- but also points to what he calls the "extreme suffering" of Iraqi civilians.
France's president, meanwhile, is calling for full sovereignty to be restored to Iraq as quickly as possible through the U-N.
Jacques Chirac says the most urgent matter now is to get humanitarian aid through, by securing Iraq.
France has said U-S and British troops are in the best position to secure Iraq -- but that the U-N should have a central role in rebuilding the country.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)