France and Russia to seek de-escalation in Middle East

Russia – Conversation between M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr Vladimir Putin, President of Russia – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 3 January 2020

The French President spoke on the telephone to Russian President Vladimir Putin this morning.

The two presidents first took stock of the situation in Iraq and the region. They agreed to remain in close contact over the coming days to prevent a new and dangerous escalation of tensions and call on all the parties to show restraint. The French President reiterated France’s commitment to Iraq’s sovereignty and security and to the region’s stability. He emphasized the need for the guarantors of the 2015 agreement to remain closely coordinated in calling on Iran to return swiftly to full compliance with its nuclear obligations and refrain from any provocation. The French President stressed that the fight against Islamist terrorism is still the priority, and he reaffirmed his full commitment to the International Coalition against Daesh [so-called ISIL].

On Syria, the French President expressed his deep concern about the humanitarian situation in Idlib. He stressed the imperative need for all the Security Council’s member states to shoulder their responsibilities to ensure that the United Nations can address civilians’ needs by maintaining cross-border aid. The two presidents confirmed their shared desire to reach an agreement to this effect at the United Nations Security Council by 10 January 2020.

On the Russia-Ukraine crisis, President Macron once again welcomed the exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine on 29 December, in accordance with the commitments made at the Paris summit in the Normandy format on 9 December. He stressed the need for all the measures officially endorsed at the summit to be implemented swiftly, particularly those on the political and security conditions with a view to organizing local elections.

On Libya, President Macron highlighted the risk of escalation linked to the increase in foreign military interference, and the need to consolidate international consensus at the Berlin conference with a view to finding a way out of the crisis through a return to the political process under the aegis of the United Nations. In this context, the President clearly condemned the maritime and security agreements recently signed by the GNA and all the decisions leading to an escalation. The President confirmed, in his view, the importance of inter-Libyan dialogue and a political process involving the regional players, and all Libya’s political stakeholders in particular./.

Turkey – Telephone conversation between M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 3 January 2020

President Macron spoke this afternoon by phone with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The two heads of state expressed their shared concern over the rise in tensions in the Middle East following the latest events in Iraq and the need to avoid a dangerous escalation.

President Macron emphasized the priority given to the fight against Daesh [so-called ISIL] and France’s full commitment to the actions of the international coalition.

With regard to Syria, he underscored his concern over the humanitarian and security situation in Idlib, as well as France’s mobilization of all its efforts to ensure that the United Nations retains the necessary access to populations in need through cross-border assistance.

As for Libya, the President stressed the fact that there can be no military solution to the crisis and the need to avoid any escalation linked to the stepping up of foreign military interference. He emphasized the need to solidify the international consensus at the Berlin Conference in order to both achieve a credible ceasefire in Libya and end the crisis through a restoration of the political process under the auspices of the UN and through inter-Libyan dialogue.

Finally, President Macron wanted to reaffirm the European Council’s clear, unanimous condemnation of the agreement between Turkey and the GNA on the delineation of their maritime boundaries and of Turkish activities with respect to Cyprus./.

Published on 07/01/2020

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