Every year since 1993, all the heads of French diplomatic missions meet in Paris at the end of August. This year, French President Emmanuel Macron speaks for nearly two hours on Monday at the Elysee Palace on the priorities of French diplomacy, in terms of security, on European independence and discusses France’s role as a partner, and its radiance.
PARIS, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) — Every year since 1993, all heads of French diplomatic missions meet in Paris at the end of August. This year, French President Emmanuel Macron speaks for nearly two hours on Monday at the Elysee Palace on the priorities of French diplomacy, in terms of security, on European independence and discusses France’s role as a partner, and its radiance.
THE UKRAINIAN CRISIS, NATO AND THE EU
Important point of the speech, the Russian-Ukrainian conflicts which have lasted for eighteen months. As a pledge of France’s support for Ukraine, Dmytro Kouleba, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, is the guest of honor at this 29th edition of the conference of French ambassadors.
“In Europe, war is coming back,” said President Macron, noting that “the European reaction has been more united than expected.” The European Union (EU) is giving Ukraine even more than the United States, while avoiding escalation, Macron said. He refuses the idea of waging a war with Russia, and a “partition of the world”, affirming that the current war “affects the whole world”.
The French head of state pleads in favor of greater European involvement in NATO for “strategic autonomy and getting out of our European strategic minority”. Emphasizing the proximity of the military and diplomats, he evokes the budgets of the armies, at the end of the two military programming laws, which have been doubled to make the French army the strongest in Europe. Diplomatic means have also been increased.
Mr. Macron speaks of “the emergence of great international powers” and of a diplomatic context which “has rather hardened”. He draws the conclusion that this new situation will “run the risk of a weakening of the West and more particularly of our Europe”.
Regarding the EU, “we must think about integration at the same time as enlargement”, notes Mr. Macron. Believing that the Franco-German partnership is key, he defends the existence of a “Franco-German tandem”, particularly on European energy policy.
AFRICA, THE LEVANT AND THE INDO-PACIFIC
Mr. Macron affirms that France carried out the Serval and Barkhane operations at the request of States plunged into insecurity. He deplores what he calls “an epidemic of putschs in West Africa, resulting from the weakness of the armies”. As for Niger, a country in which the French ambassador will remain despite the expulsion ordered by the putschists, “President Bazoum resists the risk of his life”, underlines the French president, who insists that “our policy is the Good”.
Anti-French sentiment in Africa is, according to him, “the fruit of a strategy of counter-influence and misinformation”, particularly via social networks. France should redefine its place on the continent, based on issues of international law and local populations, he says.
“International terrorist organizations remain, and can strike our soil. Our mission in the Levant must continue”, continues the French president. He announced that the next Baghdad conference on security in the Middle East would take place at the end of November and called on the States of the region to demand increased cooperation from Syria in the fight against terrorism. He calls for a “political process allowing refugees to return to Syria”.
On the Indo-Pacific chapter, Emmanuel Macron intends to strengthen the French military presence, particularly in Noumea, French Polynesia, Reunion, Mayotte, and in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, and forge partnerships with countries of region.
These diplomatic positions will continue on Tuesday morning when French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna will deliver her speech before holding a joint press conference in the afternoon with her Ukrainian counterpart at the Quai d’Orsay. As for the French Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, she will address the ambassadors of France on Wednesday.
This article is originally published on french.news.cn