Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will conduct a visit to Madrid on October 20.
The minister will have a working meeting with his counterpart, Alfonso Dastis. The ministers will discuss the bilateral agenda for the coming months, which will be dominated by preparations for the French-Spanish summit due to take place in France in 2018.
French-Spanish relations are extremely close and are based on exceptional trust, with numerous cooperative initiatives, as in the energy infrastructure and transport fields. With respect to security, our exemplary relations were further strengthened following the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. Our trade exceeds €60 billion and our country is Spain’s leading economic partner.
The ministers will also discuss key current European and international issues. Spain shares the majority of the priorities set out by President Macron in his speech at the Sorbonne, whether with respect to the future of the Economic and Monetary Union, European defense, internal security or migration issues. With respect to international issues, Jean-Yves Le Drian will pay tribute to Spain’s commitment in the Sahel and will discuss preparations for the next African Union-European Union summit. He will take stock together with his interlocutor of the Syrian conflict, in the context of the post-Daesh period and the search for a political solution, as well as of the situation in Libya. Lastly, the ministers will discuss the implementation of the joint statement on “Addressing the Challenge of Migration and Asylum” adopted following the summit on migration on August 28. This summit in Paris brought together the French, German, Italian and Spanish heads of state and government and the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, as well as Nigerien, Chadian and Libyan representatives, in order to increase cooperation between countries of transit and destination. A follow-up meeting to the summit will take place on November 3 in Madrid.
With respect to the situation in Catalonia, Jean-Yves Le Drian will reaffirm France’s attachment to a strong and united Spain, as well as the importance of ensuring respect for Spain’s constitutional framework.
The minister will also visit the Lycée Français Saint-Exupéry de Madrid. During this visit and during a meeting with the French community at the French residence, the minister will highlight efforts to ensure the safety of French nationals abroad, which is a budget priority. Together with several heads of French institutions in Spain, he will take stock of the measures taken to strengthen the security of French schools abroad. He will also exchange views with students from the Lycée Saint-Exupéry, which has more than 4,000 students. It is the largest school in the extensive network of French lycées in Spain, a key tool of influence and educational cooperation (21,600 students in 22 schools).