Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - June 3, 2020)
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in Rome today and tomorrow.
This visit - the minister’s first foreign trip since the end of the lockdown - follows up on the 35th French-Italian summit held in Naples on February 27, which gave new momentum to the French-Italian relationship.
Together with his Italian counterpart, Luigi di Maio, the minister will address issues on which our two countries would like to cooperate closely: reviving the European economy, reopening borders and resuming tourism. They will discuss the establishment of a real European health policy, following up on the bilateral and European cooperation instituted during the crisis. They will visit the headquarters of the Italian Civil Protection Department to pay tribute to its staff, which was and is on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic.
Mr. Le Drian and his counterpart will also discuss major international issues on which French-Italian cooperation is vital, specifically Libya, the Sahel and the fight against Daesh, ahead of the International Coalition meeting hosted by Rome on June 4.
The minister will also visit the Holy See for a meeting with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. Continuing on from the conversation between President Macron and Pope Francis on April 21, the minister will speak about our respective commitments to African countries amid the health crisis. He will review several international crises on which our diplomats are working, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.
Yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a new document that defines the main dangers for Russia and elucidates the conditions in which Russia would be entitled to use a nuclear weapon. Are you familiar with this document? Can you comment on it?
We are aware of yesterday’s publication by President Putin of a decree dealing with nuclear deterrence. We will examine it closely.
As the President did recently in his speech of February 7, France calls regularly on other nuclear states to publicly present the fundamentals of their nuclear doctrines, as we have done, and to continue the dialogue on doctrines begun at the P5 with France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and China. This effort serves to increase transparency and mutual trust between them and is therefore crucial to preserving our collective security and reducing strategic risks.