Official speeches and statements - January 4, 2018
2. Fight against terrorism - G5 Sahel - Communiqué issued by the Ministry for the Armed Forces (Paris - January 2, 2018)
Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, spoke today, Tuesday January 2, to Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran.
Scheduled prior to the demonstrations which have broken out in Iran over the past few days, the telephone call allowed the President to share his concern about the number of victims linked to the demonstrations and encourage his counterpart to act with restraint and calm things down. Fundamental freedoms, particularly the freedoms of expression and assembly, must be respected.
The French and Iranian presidents talked about the 2015 nuclear agreement, whose strict implementation France supports, under international supervision. President Rouhani asked for the international community’s support in upholding the agreement and honoring the commitments made.
Another purpose of the telephone call between the two presidents was to discuss security in the Middle East. The French President reiterated his support for Iraqi sovereignty and the importance of holding free elections in Iraq in the spring. He emphasized the need to work concretely for an inclusive, long-term solution in Syria and an intensified dialogue on weapons control, including ballistic weapons, in the region. The two leaders also discussed the fight against terrorism and its financing.
In the current context, President Macron and President Rouhani decided by mutual agreement that the visit by the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, scheduled for the end of this week, would be put back. A new date will be set through diplomatic channels. The discussions between Paris and Tehran will continue in the next few weeks.
From 3 to 20 December 2017, an operation took place in the border area between Mali and Mauritania. Situated at the junction between northern and southern Mali, the area of the operation is not only a significant commercial hub within Mali but also a platform for trade between Mauritania and Niger.
The Malian and Mauritanian armed forces, supported by Operational Military Partnership Joint Forces Detachment 4 (DIA-PMO 4) based in Timbuktu, carried out numerous reconnaissance missions to disrupt the movements and supplies of the armed terrorist groups present in the area.
The operation—the eighth joint, cross-border military operation—fulfilled a twofold objective: to continue neutralizing areas of refuge for armed terrorist groups and to strengthen cooperation between the Malian and Mauritanian armies.
Conducted by the French armed forces in partnership with the G5 Sahel countries, Operation Barkhane was launched on 1 August 2014. It relies on a strategic approach based on a system of partnership with the main countries of the Sahel-Sahara strip: Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. It brings together some 4,000 soldiers whose mission is to fight armed terrorist groups and support the partner countries’ armed forces so that they can deal with the threat, particularly in the framework of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, which is currently being made operational.