MIL-OSI Europe: Official speeches and statements – May 18, 2022

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Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development

1. Israel – Telephone conversation between M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, 17/05/2022)

President Macron spoke on the telephone to Mr Naftali Bennett, the Israeli Prime Minister, today, Tuesday 17 May 2022.

The Israeli Prime Minister extended his congratulations to the President on his re-election.

The President reaffirmed the importance of the relationship of trust which unites France and Israel. He repeated his desire to develop bilateral relations in all areas. Following the terrorist attacks which have struck Israel over the past few weeks, the Head of State recalled France’s unfailing commitment to Israel’s security.

The French President also reiterated his commitment to regional stability and his determination to restore the JCPOA in order to counter the Iranian nuclear threat. While once again welcoming the recent normalization of Israel’s relations with several countries in the region, President Macron expressed his concern about recent Israeli announcements on settlement activity and his desire to contribute to a decisive revitalization of peace efforts in the Middle East.

President Macron expressed his shock at the death of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and recalled the importance France attaches to the investigation being completed swiftly.

Regarding Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the French President and Israeli Prime Minister also decided to continue coordinating their efforts to bring about a ceasefire and negotiation respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They will act in a concerted way in the framework of initiatives to guarantee global food security./.


2. NATO – Finland/Sweden – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, 16/05/2022)

Finland and Sweden have made the sovereign decision to apply for NATO membership. These decisions are based on democratic processes, following a comprehensive analysis of the changes in their security environment.

The President of the Republic welcomes and supports these decisions coming from two very close European partners who share and defend with us the principles of democracy, individual liberty and rule of law. Thanks to their robust defence capabilities, Finland and Sweden joining NATO will reinforce the security and stability of the Baltic Sea region as well as that of Europe as a whole, and of the Euro-Atlantic area.

Whoever would seek to test European solidarity by threatening or attacking their sovereignty, through whatever means, must be certain that France will stand shoulder to shoulder with Finland and Sweden. France reaffirms its commitment and solidarity under Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union, and stands ready to increase its security and defence cooperation with both partners, including through high-level political consultations and enhanced military interactions./.


3. Libya – Violence in Tripoli (17 May 2022) – Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, 18/05/2022)

After yesterday’s violence in Tripoli, France calls on all Libya’s stakeholders to refrain from any violence and to respect the ceasefire agreement.

It calls on Libya’s stakeholders to commit to a genuine dialogue with a view to reaching a viable political solution which has to include the holding of transparent, impartial presidential and parliamentary elections throughout Libyan territory as soon as possible, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the expectations of the Libyan people./.


4. United Nations – G5 Sahel – Statement by Mr Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York, 18/05/2022)

=Translation from French=

Madam President,

I thank Ms. Martha Akyaa Pobee, Mr. Tiaré and Ms. Bandiaky-Badji for their presentations.

The situation in the Sahel continues to be very alarming. Millions of people are food insecure. Civilian populations and local forces are paying a heavy toll in the face of terrorist groups. Terrorist groups are extending their threat to eastern Senegal and to the north of the Gulf of Guinea countries, as in Togo, which was the victim of a terrorist attack last week. Faced with this situation, resolute action by the international community is essential.

France welcomes the efforts made by the G5 Sahel in terms of development and security in recent years. We can only regret the decision of the Malian transitional authorities to leave this organisation in which Mali had played a leading role since 2014.

This withdrawal weakens the regional security architecture. However, we should not jump to conclusions about the future of the G5 Sahel. It is up to the members of the organisation alone to decide.

Despite the difficulties, the joint force has conducted operations over the past six months. In the face of a cross-border threat, regional cooperation remains essential. It is important to maintain support for those states that wish to continue to conduct operations in cross-border areas. We welcome the support provided by partners, in particular the European Union.

MINUSMA is implementing support to the battalions of the G5 Sahel joint force through the EU-funded tripartite mechanism. It is clear that Mali’s withdrawal from the G5 Sahel can only lead to the suspension of this support to the Malian battalions, as they no longer participate in the force’s operations.

We regret that this Council did not reach an agreement on the creation of a support office for the joint force, financed by assessed contributions. This would have avoided the difficulties we are seeing today. We remain convinced that increased support from this Council and from Member States for robust African operations is vital. Without it, we risk seeing more African countries turning to harmful solutions, such as the use of mercenaries.

In this regard, I recall France’s deep concern about the serious allegations of human rights violations by Malian armed forces and Wagner mercenaries. It is essential that national and international investigations be conducted, without hindrance and in complete independence, to establish the facts. MINUSMA must be allowed to conduct its own investigations and report the results without further delay. We are indeed surprised that the latest quarterly report of MINUSMA’s human rights division has still not been published. We call on the United Nations to do so as soon as possible.

Madam President,

The Barkhane force is continuing its withdrawal from Mali. However, France intends to continue to support those Sahelian countries that so wish and to strengthen its support to those in the Gulf of Guinea in the face of the expansion of terrorism from the Sahel. Several consultations have taken place with these countries, and they have already expressed specific needs. We are discussing with our partners, particularly in Europe, the responses to be provided. This could include help with training and education, the supply of equipment, or even support for operations against terrorism. The G5 Sahel and the Accra initiative could be part of our reference frameworks if our partners in the region so wish.

We will put civilians and prevention more at the heart of our strategy. The Alliance Sahel, which commitments amount to 26 billion euros, is an essential tool and its activities must continue. The United Nations, through its Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, must play its full part in this effort.

I thank you./.


5. United Nations – Iraq – Statement by Mrs Nathalie Broadhurst, Deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York, 17/05/2022)

=Translation from French=

Thank you, Mr. President,

I would first like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Ms. Edward for their presentations. France commends the remarkable work of the Special Representative in Iraq in an extremely difficult context. I would also like to welcome the presence here today of the Permanent Representative of Iraq.

Last October, Iraqis went to the polls to elect their representatives to Parliament. They have now been waiting seven months for the appointment of a Prime Minister and the formation of a government. It is therefore urgent that the political forces make all the necessary compromises to reach an agreement. The same applies to the appointment of the President of the Republic. I would like to take this opportunity to recall the importance of the participation of Iraqi women in the political life of their country, and I welcome the fact that they are more numerous than ever in Parliament.

Mr. President,

There are many issues facing the next government. I am thinking in particular of security issues. In this respect, we strongly condemn the attack by Iran with ballistic missiles on 13 March. This is an unacceptable attack on Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We remain concerned about the threat posed by Daech. In this regard, I would like to express our gratitude for all the work done by the Iraqi security forces and by the international coalition against Daech. France will remain committed alongside the Iraqis in the fight against terrorism.

France is also paying particular attention to the situation in Sinjar. The efforts of the Iraqi government, at the highest level, to implement the agreement on security, governance and reconstruction of the district have our full support.

The ceasefire between the Iraqi armed forces and certain armed groups must be sustainable and, above all, it must allow the return of more than 4,000 families who were forced to leave the district following the escalation that occurred between the end of April and the beginning of May.

We are also mobilised to provide all our assistance to the needs arising from these internal displacements.

As the Special Representative said, good cooperation between the Federal Government and the autonomous Kurdistan region is essential. In this regard, we call on Baghdad and Erbil to institutionalize their dialogue on all relevant issues, be they political, economic, energy or security issues. We are very grateful for UNAMI’s good offices in this regard.

Mr. Chairman,

I would also like to mention the regional context, which has consequences for the situation in Iraq. In this respect, France welcomes the Prime Minister’s commitment to regional security and stability.

I would also like to recall the importance of the dialogue between Iraq and Kuwait, with regard to the missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals. We welcome the progress that has been mentioned in the Secretariat’s report. We encourage both States to continue their cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

As the Special Representative recalled in her opening remarks, Iraq has experienced impressive sandstorms in recent days, resulting in numerous hospitalizations and disrupting daily life in the country. The frequency of these storms has only increased in recent years. This is a visible consequence of global warming and desertification. In this respect, I would like to express France’s solidarity with Iraq, which joined the Paris Agreement last year.

As the negotiations to renew UNAMI’s mandate approach, I would like to draw the attention of all members of the Security Council to the importance of these environmental and climate issues in Iraq.

Our support for the Iraqi authorities and the Iraqi people in the fight against climate change will be unconditional.

Thank you./.

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