European Union - Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (19 April 2021)


Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers on April 19 via video conference.

This meeting will provide an opportunity for the EU to reaffirm its wholehearted solidarity with Ukraine and its attachment to the country’s territorial integrity. In this context, the minister will underscore the need to avoid an escalation of tensions. EU-Ukraine bilateral relations will also be discussed, notably the continuation of the reforms undertaken by Kiev, in accordance with the Association Agreement signed with the EU. The minister will share his assessment of the situation and will brief his European colleagues on the meeting between President Macron and President Zelensky, who was received in Paris on April 16. He will highlight the joint efforts with Germany within the framework of the so-called Normandy process to ensure the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Following on from the Foreign Affairs Council of March 22, the minister will remind his European counterparts of the pressing need to take action to help Lebanon resolve the political and economic deadlock by accelerating European efforts to exert pressure on those responsible for this stalemate situation.

The minister will take stock of the Iranian issue, together with the high representative and his German counterpart, in the light of the discussions in Vienna on the parameters for a return to the nuclear deal (JCPOA) and the serious concerns raised by the most recent Iranian announcements relating in particular to the start of uranium enrichment to 60%.

The ministers will discuss the troubling developments in Tigray in Ethiopia. The minister will reaffirm the need to make progress on the three priorities identified by the EU, namely improved humanitarian access to Tigray, the launch of independent investigations into the human rights violations and the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopian territory.

The minister will support the adoption by the Council of conclusions on the development of an EU strategy for the Indo-Pacific region. Such a strategy, which is strongly supported by France, Germany and the Netherlands, aims to promote multilateralism, peace and stability, maritime security and ambitious connectivity and sustainable development standards in this region. It will be one of the priorities of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2022.

Other topical issues will be discussed: Libya, following the visit to Tripoli by the French, Italian and German ministers on March 25, which provided an opportunity to reaffirm European commitment and unity in this regard, and the support for a new Libyan executive authority; Georgia, in order to highlight the EU’s mediation efforts to reach a political solution; Myanmar, in the context of a marked deterioration in the situation and the strengthening of European sanctions against those responsible for the coup; Mozambique.