Conversation between Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Spanish counterpart, Josep Borrell (14 June 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke today with Josep Borrell, the Spanish minister of foreign affairs, the European Union and cooperation.

The minister welcomed the Spanish proposal to open the port of Valencia to boats transporting people picked up by the Aquarius, thereby ending a dangerous humanitarian situation.

He confirmed that the French authorities were prepared to lend their support to Spain by welcoming to France those passengers on the Aquarius who meet the criteria for the right to asylum, one OFPRA [the French office for the protection of refugees] has examined their situation on Spain. Spain favorably welcomed this proposal.

Beyond this humanitarian gesture on the part of Spain, the two ministers agreed that the European Council of June 28-29 must be dedicated to in-depth discussions on migratory issues. A sustainable, coherent response must be found to this challenge that covers asylum, border protection, readmission, cooperation with third parties and legal migration, in a manner that respects European values.