French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has offered to apologise to Iraq if he had meddled in its affairs.
The statement comes a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Maliki demanded an official apology because Mr Kouchner had suggested he resign.
Meanwhile President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a clear timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq.
He was making what was described as his first major foreign policy speech since becoming president in May.
Mr Sarkozy said such a timetable would force the various Iraqi parties to accept responsibility for the country's future.