Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - March 16, 2018)
• Lebanon / Rome II conference in support of the Lebanese security forces – France’s contribution (March 15, 2018)
Jean-Yves Le Drian is visiting Niger and Burkina Faso today.
In Niamey, the minister for Europe and foreign affairs will take part, together with Minister of the Interior Gérard Collomb, in a coordination meeting on the fight against the illegal trafficking of migrants and human smuggling, which will bring together the ministers of 12 European and African states, with representatives from the EU, the AU and the UN. This meeting aims to make progress toward implementing the collective commitments made on August 28 in Paris, in the same format, aimed at combating the criminal networks involved in irregular migration and ensuring the dignified treatment of migrants. On the sidelines of this meeting, Jean-Yves Le Drian will meet with the G5 Sahel ministers.
Jean-Yves Le Drian will then visit Ouagadougou to express to the Burkina Faso people and government France’s solidarity following the deadly terrorist attacks on March 2. He will meet with the staff of the French Embassy to whom he will deliver a letter of support from President Macron. Mr. Le Drian will address the French community. He will reaffirm his commitment to the security of our compatriots abroad.
Jean-Yves Le Drian will meet with President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, to whom he will reaffirm France’s determination to maintain a close partnership with Burkina Faso, in accordance with the commitments made by President Macron in Ouagadougou on November 28.
Jean-Yves Le Drian took part in the conference in support of Lebanon’s security institutions yesterday in Rome. During the conference he reaffirmed France’s strong attachment to Lebanon’s stability, security and sovereignty, as well as its determination to help strengthen its army and its internal security forces.
France will open a €400 million line of credit to allow the Lebanese government to purchase French military equipment. This equipment is intended for the Lebanese army and the internal security forces. It will notably help create the Lebanese army model regiment. The creation of this model regiment is key to strengthening the Lebanese army’s presence in the southern part of the country, to which France contributes within the framework of UNIFIL.
These loans will be complemented by new transfers of French military equipment, accompanied by training for Lebanese troops, amounting to €14 million in grants, in line with the €30 million plan for the transfer of military equipment initiated in 2016.
Lastly, France will increase its close and long-standing bilateral cooperation with Lebanon by 15% in 2018.