France in Germany: A Partnership of Cooperation
Seminar of Jean-Yves Le Drian with his German counterpart Heiko MaasMay 07th, 2018
On May 7, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, travels to Berlin for a working seminar with his German counterpart Heiko Maas. This meeting further deepened the dialogue of trust with the new German Foreign Minister, who had traveled to Paris on 14 March the evening of his appointment.
The exchange focused on the main topics of international news, for which these countries work in close and permanent coordination. The ministers discussed the ongoing work on the future of the European Union, specifically, the European Commission's proposals on the financial framework as well as issues relating to the enlargement of the European Union. In reference to an upcoming deadline of the European Council on the 28 and 29 June, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed France's commitment toward creating a European Defense Fund and the implementation of permanent structured cooperation to serve the strategic autonomy of the European Union.
Subsequently, transatlantic relations were discussed. After the French President an German Chancellor visited Washington, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to relations based on the principles of free and fair trade and the search for collective solutions in the framework of the World Trade Organization. France and Germany, and its European partners, supported continuing dialogue to bring about a positive agenda on international trade.
France and Germany’s relationship with Russia was also discussed. Indeed, a few days before the visit of the French President, the ministers exchanged dialogue and agreed that they wish to maintain specific aspects of their relations with Russia; including, relations between the European Union and Russia and the importance of maintaining European unity; full implementation by the parties of the Minsk process for Ukraine, in order to reach a resolution for the conflict in the east of Ukraine; the situation in Syria; and dialogue relating to the talks with Iran, for which they expect Russia to play a constructive role.
The meeting concluded with further discussion on Iran. Ahead of the United States’ decision on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian had an in-depth exchange with his German counterpart on their relationship with Iran. He recalled the approach defined by the French President who would prefer for discussions to be opened in close consultation with the permanent members of the Security Council and the European and regional powers in order to secure the preservation of the achievements of the agreement concluded in Vienna in 2015, the control of nuclear activity after 2025, Iran's ballistic program and its role in the region, particularly in Syria and Yemen.