JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN
France still bristling over Indo-Pacific sub snub
This week's phone call between President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron may have soothed some the incandescent rage with which France erupted over its exclusion from a new Indo-Pacific defense initiative, but the anger and resentment remain clear.
France is doing everything it can to show its anger at a cancelled $50 billion submarine contract, shocking officials in the US, UK, and Australia
France recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia in fury after Australia canceled a lucrative submarine contract with French firm Naval Group.news.yahoo.com
Biden looks to turn page on 20 years of war in UN address
President Joe Biden begins his first visit to the U.N. General Assembly ready to make the case to world leaders that after closing the chapter on 20 years of war, the U.S. aims to rally allies and adversaries to work together on a slew of crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and trade and economics.
France's Macron to talk to Biden amid crisis over submarines
France's government spokesman says President Emmanuel Macron will speak in the coming days with President Joe Biden in their first contact since a major crisis erupted between France and the United States over a submarine deal with Australia.
France recalls ambassador from Washington 'without delay' as Macron rages at Biden
French President Emmanuel Macron recalled his country’s ambassador to the United States in a sharp rebuke of President Joe Biden’s unexpected decision to strike a nuclear submarine agreement with Australia that scuttled a preexisting French contract.news.yahoo.com
Irish parliament denounces Israeli policies in West Bank
The motion passed Wednesday by the Dail, the lower house of Ireland’s parliament, condemned the “recent and ongoing forced displacement of Palestinian communities in the occupied Palestinian territory.” Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the motion conveys Ireland's concern that Israel’s actions are undermining prospects for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Israel's Foreign Ministry rejected what it described as Ireland’s “outrageous and baseless” position on Israeli settlements.news.yahoo.com
France considers stricter controls for UK travellers to combat spread of Indian Covid variant
France may impose tougher restrictions on British travellers as part of an effort to curb the spread of the more contagious Covid-19 Indian variant. Jean Yves-Le Drian, the country’s foreign affairs minister, told French radio station RTL on Sunday that the government would not rule out “slightly stricter” measures for visitors coming from the United Kingdom. “We worry about the Indian variant and we remain on high alert regarding that matter, in cooperation with British authorities,” Mr Le Drian said. While no official announcement has been made, Mr Le Drian said it may mean the UK would be classified as a medium-risk country, referring to the colour-coded traffic light system used to determine which quarantine measures and other restrictions travellers fall into. Mr Le Drian stopped short of saying the UK would be classified as a ‘red’ country, but suggested it could be considered ‘yellow.’ The news comes just one day after Germany’s Health Ministry announced that the UK was an “area of variant concern.” Starting Sunday at midnight, only German citizens and residents travelling from the UK are allowed to enter the country. Others will be turned away unless they have an essential reason for travel. More than 3,850 cases of the Indian variant have been detected in the UK, with a 160 percent increase in new cases over the last seven days. A paper presented to the UK government earlier this month said the Indian variant could be up to 50 percent more transmissible than the original strain. “At this point in the vaccine rollout, there are still too few adults vaccinated to prevent a significant resurgence that ultimately could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS,” the paper said. Even with the potential increased risk of transmissibility, some health experts said travel restrictions would do little to prevent the spread of new variants. “Closing the border will have no effect whatsoever,” said Catherine Hill, an epidemiologist at Gustave Roussy Hospital in Paris. She said people who are determined to travel will find ways to circumvent restrictions, such as flying to nearby countries, then hopping on a train or bus. “It’s just meaningless. If travellers really want to go see their old parents or if they really want to meet a friend, they will find a way,” Hill said, adding that for now there was “no cause for serious alarm” regarding the Indian variant. Preliminary evidence suggests vaccines are still effective against the Indian variant. There are very few confirmed cases of the Indian variant in France so far, but health experts worry it is spreading. France’s public health agency recorded 38 new outbreaks in the last seven days, a 60 percent increase from the week before. Three of the outbreaks were from family clusters with no known link to India, meaning it is unclear if it was spread on French soil. For now, the French public health agency concluded, there was still “no evidence of significant community spread” in France.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: UK says vaccines effective for Indian variant
British health officials are expressing optimism that the coronavirus restrictions remaining in England can be lifted in June after an official study found that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offer effective protection against the variant first identified in India.
EU seeks Mideast cease-fire, concerned conflict will spread
European Union foreign ministers called Tuesday for a cease-fire to end days of heavy fighting between the Israeli armed forces and Palestinian militants, but said that a longer-term political solution must be found to end decades of conflict between them. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in heavy airstrikes so far, including dozens of children, and over 1,400 people wounded. At least 12 people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy, have been killed in rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip toward civilian areas in Israel.news.yahoo.com
French FM in Lebanon with a message of 'great firmness'
France's foreign minister began a visit to Lebanon Thursday with a message of “great firmness” to its political leaders, threatening to take additional measures against officials obstructing the formation of a government in the crisis-hit country. Tweeting ahead of his arrival, Jean-Yves Le Drian said French travel restrictions on Lebanese officials suspected of corruption or hindering the formation of a new Cabinet were “just the start.” France has been trying to force change on Lebanon's ruling class, whose corruption and mismanagement has driven the tiny country into the ground and pushed it to the verge of bankruptcy.news.yahoo.com
EU top diplomats in Libya to support interim authorities
German foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The European foreign ministers also called on mercenaries and foreign fighters to leave the country immediately. Ad“This (withdrawal) is indispensable so that Libya can regain its sovereignty and security,” said France’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We have talked about the tasks ahead and about how we can concretely support (Libya) where there is a wish for it,” said Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. EU top diplomats also stressed the need to reopen the country's Mediterranean coastal road linking the east and the west.
EU targets 11 Myanmar officials over coup, crackdown
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, left, talks to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas during a European Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, March 22, 2021. (Aris Oikonomou/Pool Photo via AP)BRUSSELS – The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions Monday on a number of Myanmar officials accused of involvement in the country's military coup and the ensuing crackdown on protesters. The EU announced penalties on 11 officials, including 10 top military officers. Ten of the 11 targeted with asset freezes and travel bans by the EU are senior members of the Myanmar Armed Forces. AdMyanmar’s military junta prevented Parliament from convening on Feb. 1.
EU slaps sanctions on 19 more Venezuelan officials
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, center, attends a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, Feb 22, 2021. European Union foreign ministers on Monday will look at options for imposing fresh sanctions against Russia over the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny as the 27-nation bloc considers the future of its troubled ties with the country. (Yves Herman, Pool via AP)BRUSSELS – The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on 19 more officials in Venezuela accused of undermining democracy or rights abuses in the crisis-torn South American country. EU foreign ministers targeted the 19 with asset freezes and travel bans “in view of the deteriorating situation in Venezuela following the December 2020 elections.” The main opposition parties boycotted those polls. It means that a total of 55 Venezuelan officials are now subject to EU sanctions.
Back in Paris pact, US faces tougher climate steps ahead
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)World leaders welcomed the United States' official return to the Paris climate accord Friday, but politically trickier steps lie just ahead for President Joe Biden, including setting a tough national target in coming months for cutting damaging fossil fuel emissions. Officially, the United States was only out of the worldwide global climate pact for 107 days. It’s the political symbolism that the largest economy refuses to see the opportunity of addressing climate change.” said Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations climate chief. Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy panel, has criticized Biden for rejoining the Paris accord, tweeting: “Returning to the Paris climate agreement will raise Americans’ energy costs and won’t solve climate change. The Biden administration will set unworkable targets for the United States while China and Russia can continue with business as usual."
In Athens, Turkey foes plan regional alliance
Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani, left, speaks with Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi, Emirati Minister of State for International Cooperation during a meeting, in Athens, on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. Foreign ministers and senior officials from several Persian Gulf countries met in Athens, as Greece seeks to expand alliances to counter tension with regional rival Turkey. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)ATHENS – Foreign ministers and senior officials from several Persian Gulf countries are meeting in Athens on Thursday, as Greece seeks to expand alliances to counter tension with regional rival Turkey. NATO members Greece and Turkey remain locked in a dispute over boundaries and resource rights in the eastern Mediterranean that led to a dangerous military buildup in the region for months last year. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the seven participating countries were planning to have regular contacts and meetings.
Top diplomats of US, UK, France, Germany hold virtual talks
LONDON – The top diplomats of Britain, France, Germany and the United States met Friday for the first time in almost three years as the European allies welcome America’s return to center stage in world affairs under President Joe Biden. Britain’s Foreign Office and the U.S. State Department said the foreign ministers of the three European nations and the U.S. secretary of state held virtual talks on topics that included Iran, China, Russia, Myanmar, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. The last time the top foreign affairs officials from the four countries met as a quartet was in April 2018. The meeting of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian came a day after Biden told U.S. diplomats at the State Department: “America is back. One of Biden's first acts as president was reversing Trump's withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 Paris climate accord.
EU urges Navalny's release but no talk of Russia sanctions
A demonstrator clashes with a police officer during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Pushkin square in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. “The Council considered it completely unacceptable, condemned the mass detentions, and the police brutality over the weekend,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after chairing the meeting in Brussels. More than 3,700 people were detained across Russia during Saturday's nationwide protests in support of Navalny, according to OVD-Info, a human rights group that monitors political arrests. Borrell said he would visit Moscow next week for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Steps being taken by Russian authorities are suppressing those rights.”The embassy also tweeted a State Department statement calling for Navalny’s release.
'Disgraceful': World leaders react to pro-Trump riots rocking Washington
A man calls on people to raid the building as Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the Capital Building in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021. Trump returned to the White House after his speech and later told supporters in a tweeted video "you have to go home now." In a series of tweets Wednesday evening, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the storming of the U.S. Capitol "unacceptable." "Let us swiftly bring justice to the criminals who engaged in this rioting," Pompeo wrote, adding "America is better than what we saw today." The scenes of crowds storming into the U.S. Capitol shocked foreign powers around the world.cnbc.com
France's Macron hosts Trump envoy after congratulating Biden
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, walks to a motorcade vehicle after stepping off a plane at Paris Le Bourget Airport, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Le Bourget, France. Unusually, Le Drian met Pompeo at the Elysee Palace, rather than his own office. Before meeting Macron and Le Drian, Pompeo laid a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers at a memorial to victims of terrorism at a Paris landmark, the Hotel des Invalides. From Paris, Pompeo traveled on to Turkey, where he will meet religious leaders in Istanbul but not government officials. Senior State Department officials said the lack of official meetings in Turkey was due to scheduling issues during the brief stop.
US sec'y of state begins difficult 7-nation tour in France
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center, and his wife Susan, right, embrace U.S. Ambassador to France Jamie McCourt, left, after stepping off a plane at Paris Le Bourget Airport, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Le Bourget, France. It will include visits to Israeli settlements in the West Bank that have been avoided by previous secretaries of state. In an arrival tweet Saturday in France, Pompeo laid out the standard diplomatic groundwork for his Paris talks, noting that France is the “oldest friend and Ally” of the United States. After France, Pompeo’s tour takes him to Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
France says stop boycott calls; Erdogan ups Macron insults
A child holds a photograph of France's President Emmanuel Macron, stamped with a shoe mark, during a protest against France in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday challenged the United States to impose sanctions against his country while also launching a second attack on French President Emmanuel Macron. “In numerous countries of the Middle East, calls to boycott French products...and more generally, calls to demonstrate against France, in sometimes hateful terms, have been relayed on social media,” the French Foreign Ministry said. While eulogizing the teacher on Wednesday, Macron said France would not renounce its freedoms. “What is the problem of this person called Macron with Islam and Muslims?” Erdogan, a devout Muslim, asked rhetorically Saturday during his Justice and Development party meeting in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri.
France warns Turkey of EU sanctions over 'provocations'
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the mmbers of his ruling party at the parliament, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool)ANKARA – France warned Turkey on Thursday that it could face European Union sanctions for its “provocations,” after Ankara redeployed its search vessel on a new energy exploration mission in the eastern Mediterranean. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he understood Greece’s unwillingness to engage in dialogue due to Turkey’s decision to again dispatch its ship. “And if there isn’t, then the European Union will have to face the question of how to deal with this and what consequences this will have,” Maas said. “It is one more provocation, in the continued provocations by the Turkish side,” Petsas said.
France accuses UK of stalling in post-Brexit trade talks
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian left, and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attend the opening session of the French ambassadors to European countries in Paris, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. The 27-nation EU and the U.K. remain deadlocked in their talks on future trade ties after a transitional divorce period ends on Dec. 31. Negotiations are not advancing, because of the intransigent and unrealistic attitude of the United Kingdom," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told his nation's ambassadors in Paris Monday. And Le Drian insisted that the 27 won't buckle under pressure from London. That, he said, would result in countries such as Italy, Spain or Poland taking greater responsibility for shaping EU foreign policy.
Consultations to name new PM in Lebanon to begin on Monday
BEIRUT The office of Lebanons president said Friday that binding consultations with members of Parliament to designate a new prime minister will begin early next week. Mondays consultations will coincide with a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Lebanon, a former French protectorate. The blast, the most destructive single incident in Lebanons history, killed more than 180 people, wounded nearly 6,000 and left nearly 300,000 people homeless. President Michel Aouns office released a schedule of the consultations that will begin Monday morning and end in the afternoon. The fighting briefly closed the main highway linking Beirut with southern Lebanon.
US-China spats rattle world, prompting calls for unity
France has avoided echoing Trumps criticism of Beijings handling of the coronavirus, but legislators applauded Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian last week when he condemned abuses of minority Uighurs in Chinas northwest. That rancor has spread to include Hong Kong, Chinese Muslims, spying accusations and control of the South China Sea. Trump complains about the cost of stationing 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea to protect against North Korean threats. The U.S.-Chinese row has thrown a question to South Korea" about which side to choose, the newspaper Dong-A Ilbo said in an editorial Monday. We are making clear: Beijings claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a July 13 statement.