PARIS — France's foreign minister says he considered resigning amid a debate over his government's expulsions of Gypsies — a policy that has drawn fire from the Vatican and the United Nations.
Bernard Kouchner — a longtime human rights advocate turned political figure — has said he "isn't happy about what happened" and admits France's image has taken a hit.
But he says France "has nothing to blush about" as a top recipient of asylum-seekers.
Kouchner told RTL radio Monday he had spoken to President Nicolas Sarkozy about his concerns and decided that "to leave would be to desert."
France has stepped up a long-standing policy of rounding up and sending home Eastern European Gypsies, or Roma. More than 100 illegal camps have been dismantled in recent weeks.