European consultations – Middle East/Libya – Communiqué issued by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (7 January 2020)


Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Brussels today for consultations on the crisis situation in the Middle East and Libya with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.

On the Libya issue, we emphasized in a joint communiqué the necessity of an immediate cessation of hostilities. We agreed on the need for increased mobilization by the Europeans for a political settlement of the crisis, given the seriousness of the situation in Libya and the major security challenges resulting from it for Europe. We also agreed on the need for the Libyan parties to take concrete action with a view to de-escalation and a ceasefire and create the conditions for a relaunch of the political process in the framework of the Berlin process and inter-Libyan dialogue, under the aegis of the United Nations and in coordination with the African Union. Lastly, we emphasized the serious risks linked to foreign interference that we are observing in the Libya conflict and which is further exacerbating that conflict. As the French President said, this is especially true of the interference [by] and agreements recently signed with Turkey, which are fuelling the escalation.

In a separate meeting, my British and German counterparts and I reiterated our resolute commitment to keeping in place the nuclear agreement reached with Iran in 2015, despite Iran’s repeated violations of its commitments under that agreement. In the context of the latest Iranian announcements of 5 January, we agreed to maintain very close coordination between the Europeans and with the other states parties to the agreement, Russia and China. Finally, we discussed the mechanisms available to us in the framework of the agreement for achieving Iran’s full return in accordance with its provisions.

Regarding current tensions in the Middle East, we agreed on the necessity of taking action together to start a de-escalation and prevent further aggravation of the current crisis. We also discussed the priority of preserving our joint combat capabilities against Daesh [so-called ISIL] in Iraq, in full respect of Iraqi sovereignty.
The Minister finally spoke about these various issues in a bilateral meeting with Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Secretary, noting the great similarity between our approaches to these crises, which affect our security, and the necessity of making joint responses to them./.