European Union - Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the informal meeting of foreign affairs ministers in the so-called Gymnich format (Kranj, 2-3 September 2021)


Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the informal meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers in Kranj in Slovenia from September 2 to 3.

Following on from the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on August 17, the ministers will take stock of the humanitarian, security and political situation in Afghanistan. The minister will reaffirm the requirements we must have vis-à-vis the Taliban: respect for humanitarian law and the protection of all those who have the right to asylum, as well as the freedom to leave Afghanistan for those who wish to do so, respect for human rights and in particular respect for the dignity of Afghan women, the rejection of terrorism, free access to humanitarian assistance and the establishment of a transitional government in the context of the ongoing negotiations in Doha. Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, with whom the minister spoke on August 27, will take part in the discussions on the need to coordinate the international response to the situation of displaced persons and refugees in Afghanistan and in the region. The minister will argue in favor of coordinating the European response with regional actors such as Pakistan and the countries of Central Asia.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will attend this meeting. Mr. Le Drian will reiterate that the Indo-Pacific will be one of the priorities of the French EU Council presidency in the first half of 2022. He will support the adoption of a European strategy for the Indo-Pacific by the end of the year promoting multilateralism, peace and stability, maritime security, and ambitious standards on connectivity and sustainable development in the region. He will argue in favor of basing a stepped-up European presence in the region on the strategic partnership between the EU and India.

The minister will give an account of the Baghdad Conference on Cooperation and Partnership on August 28-29, held with France’s support and in which President Macron participated. He will highlight the need to strengthen political and security-related cooperation with the Gulf States to help deescalate tensions and promote political dialogue.

The ministers will also discuss relations between the EU and China.