Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, yesterday had a telephone conversation from Brazil with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The day after President Zelenskyy’s visit to London, Paris and the European Parliament and Council in Brussels, and with the Russian aggression having continued for nearly a year, they reiterated their shared determination to maintain unflinching support for Ukraine in the legitimate defence of its territorial integrity and its sovereignty, for as long as is necessary. In the run-up to 24 February, it is up to all States to call for respect for the Charter of the United Nations and condemn the illegal aggression being committed by Russia.
Regarding the Middle East, Mme Colonna and Mr Blinken discussed Iran and the need for that country to return to its international obligations and in particular to cooperate fully and completely with the IAEA. The Minister also spoke about Iran’s destabilizing activities and the growing threat represented by the development of its ballistic missiles arsenal, the proliferation of missiles, including to non-State actors, the transfer of drones, and the need to strengthen the international response to this threat.
Amid the very worrying rise in tensions in the Middle East, they reiterated their commitment to the two-State solution and called on the parties to show the utmost restraint to prevent any escalation.
The Minister and the Secretary of State also discussed the situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, reviewing efforts under way to resolve the conflict and emphasizing the need for free movement along the Lachin corridor to be immediately restored. The serious humanitarian consequences of the current deadlock on the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are unacceptable, and France and the United States are combining their efforts to end the situation, through their contacts between Prime Minister Pachinyan and President Aliyev.