Rouleau, Eric

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ROULEAU, ERIC (Elie Rafoul ; 1926– ), journalist and diplomat. Rouleau was born in Cairo. From 1953 to 1960 he was an editor for the Middle East service of the Agence France Presse and from 1956 a reporter for Le Monde, writing a column on the Near and Middle East from 1960. In the 1970s he spent some time in the United States; in 1974 he was a research associate at the University of California and in 1978–79 a research associate for the Council of Foreign Affairs in New York and a lecturer at Princeton University. In 1983 he became an adviser to the Television Française 1.

Rouleau is a noted journalist whose recognized expertise is in the areas of the Arab world and Middle Eastern subjects. He has links to excellent sources in Arab countries, particularly in the radical ones. During the course of his career he has interviewed almost all leaders in the Middle East since the 1950s. In 1985 French president Mitterrand appointed him ambassador to Tunisia, but he was forced to resign after a little over a year's service because of opposition to him by the Tunisian government, which considered him to be associated with the opposition and the plo. In 1988–92 he was ambassador to Turkey and from 1994 Middle East correspondent of Le Monde. He published: Le Troisième combat (1967), in collaboration with J. Lacouture and O.F. Held, Biographie de Kurt Waldheim (1977), Entretien avec Abu Iyad (1979), and Etude sur les Palestiniens (1984).

[Gideon Kouts]