Death of Senator John McCain – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (26 August 2018)


I was saddened and moved to hear of the death of Senator John McCain, following a serious illness, in the face of which he demonstrated, for the last time, the courage that had distinguished him throughout his life.

John McCain, a Navy hero who served as a fighter pilot and was held as a prisoner of war before becoming a prominent political figure in the United States, notably becoming the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in the 2008 elections, will be remembered as a man of great independent spirit who was listened to and respected by all, especially in the areas of defense and foreign policy.

On these issues, he was always an excellent interlocutor for France and often a leading supporter, notably at the time of France’s intervention in Mali, when he visited the region in order to meet with our forces in the first few weeks of Operation Serval in April 2013.

Over the last few years, during our meetings in Paris, Washington and Halifax, I had the opportunity to gauge the depth of his analysis of the state of the world and international security.

I pay tribute to the exceptional career of a great patriot and extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.