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Official speeches and statements - February 6, 2017

Published on February 6, 2017

1. United States - Conversation between Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Mr. Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State of the United States of America - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - January 29, 2017)

Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, spoke by telephone today to Mr. Rex Tillerson, the new Secretary of State of the United States of America.

The Minister congratulated Mr. Tillerson and expressed his wish to establish trustful and in-depth dialogue on all issues of mutual interest, be they Franco-American relations, relations between the European Union and the United States or issues of regional and global concern which France and the United States—both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—face jointly.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development stressed the importance of our long-standing ties, which are reflected in crucial security cooperation, particularly in the fight against terrorism. Mr. Ayrault and Mr. Tillerson reaffirmed the solidity of the Franco-American alliance against this threat and both countries’ shared determination to eradicate it, particularly in Iraq and Syria, where our two countries are confronting the barbarity of Daesh [so-called ISIL] together.

This relationship is also fundamental with a view to helping resolve regional crises, particularly in the Middle East and Ukraine. Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault also recalled the importance of a close relationship with the United States in order to face up to global challenges such as climate change and defend the universal values common to us, including the duty to protect refugees.

Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault reaffirmed the importance of the transatlantic link and added that the European enterprise plays a part in it, as does NATO. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development also emphasized the significant contribution of trade to the growth and prosperity of the United States and the European Union.

Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault invited his American counterpart to pay a visit to France soon, in order to continue this initial discussion.


2. Russia - Syria - Ukraine - Telephone conversation between Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and his Russian counterpart - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - January 29, 2017)

Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, spoke by phone today to his Russian counterpart, Mr. Sergei Lavrov, on the crises in Syria and Ukraine.

The two ministers examined the situation in Syria. They agreed that the cessation of hostilities agreement must be effectively respected in order for political negotiations—slated to resume in Geneva on 20 February, under the auspices of the United Nations—to be successful. They reaffirmed their support for the mediation effort conducted by the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy, Staffan de Mistura, with the aim of achieving a political transition in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254.

They also discussed the situation in Ukraine. Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault expressed his deep concern over the resumption of fighting in eastern Ukraine in recent days. He called on his Russian counterpart to do everything in his power to end that situation, so as to enable, first and foremost, the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilian populations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development stressed the importance of the Normandy format in pursuing the political process, the only thing that can bring about a long-term solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the Donbass region.

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