European Union – M. Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, 15 November 2021)


M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council, which is to meet in Brussels on Monday 15 November 2021.

On the Sahel, the Minister will argue that the European Union should support the action of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in relation to Mali and swiftly adopt a legal framework in order to take restrictive measures similar to those taken by the African regional organization against those hindering the implementation of the transition. He will speak of the Coalition for the Sahel’s multidimensional strategy and will recall our strong collective concern about the Malian transitional authorities’ possible use of Wagner mercenaries, whose atrocities, committed with complete impunity in other countries, have been widely documented.

Jean-Yves le Drian will report to his European counterparts on the discussions that he and the Minister for the Armed Forces held in Paris with their Russian counterparts on 12 November, which, in addition to the Sahel, focused in particular on Belarus and Ukraine. At the Council, the Minister will meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Mr Dmytro Kuleba, together with his German counterpart, Mr Heiko Maas.

On Belarus, the Minister will express in particular France’s full solidarity with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in the face of the Belarusian regime’s unacceptable exploitation of migratory flows. France will confirm its agreement with the adoption of a fifth package of European Union sanctions against Belarus.

Jean-Yves Le Drian will emphasize France’s commitment to the Eastern Partnership, during a ministerial meeting aimed at preparing the summit to be held on 15 December 2021. He will reiterate the European Union’s commitment to the Western Balkans, following the discussions by heads of State and government on 6 October.

The Minister will also inform his counterparts of the results of the International Conference for Libya, held in Paris on 12 November.

With the security and humanitarian situation in Ethiopia severely deteriorating, he will signal the importance of the mediation efforts under way to achieve a ceasefire.

The Minister will take part in a joint meeting of European Union foreign and defence ministers, who will discuss the work under way on the Strategic Compass, a document that will help consolidate the European strategic culture and set the framework for the EU’s European Security and Defence Policy.