European Union - Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, 25 January 2021)


Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part today in the first Foreign Affairs Council meeting of the year.

The ministers will discuss key international issues: trans-Atlantic relations, a few days after the inauguration of President Joe Biden, as well as the EU’s future relations with the United Kingdom in the areas of foreign policy, security and defense.

The ministers will also discuss relations with Turkey, following the European Council in December.

The latest troubling developments in Russia, following the arrest of opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, as well as in Hong Kong, will be discussed in detail. The situation in Africa, especially in Ethiopia and Mozambique will also be discussed.

With respect to the Iranian issue, the Foreign Affairs Council will provide an opportunity to reiterate our concerns regarding the latest Iranian decisions and actions, our shared commitment to respect for the JCPOA and the United States’ return to this agreement. More broadly, the EU will stress the need to preserve security and stability in the Middle East by strengthening dialogue with our Gulf partners.

The Council will also revisit the issue of international solidarity in the fight against the pandemic. The minister will reiterate that Covid vaccines constitute a global public good and will advocate for effective and coordinated European action in this area, in accordance with EU values and interests. With this in mind, he will underscore the importance of the ACT-A international initiative (notably its vaccines pillar, COVAX), which is supported by the EU and whose safe and fair allocation mechanism responds to the needs of the beneficiary countries.

Lastly, the ministers will have an opportunity to exchange views, via video conference, with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi in order to highlight the strategic partnership between Japan and the EU, and to reaffirm the need to adopt, like Japan, a genuine European strategy for the entire Indo-Pacific region.