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Macron unveils France's foreign policy at Paris conference

media Emmanuel Macron at the 26th Ambassador's conference in Paris REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French president Emmanuel Macron unveiled his vision of the world at the annual Ambassadors' conference in Paris. He stressed on European unity, promised a European security plan, and condemned Bachar-al Assad for massacring Syria's people.

President Emmanuel Macron gave his second speech at the annual Ambassador's conference in Paris. The event, an annual ritual, is an occasion for French presidents to unveil their foreign policies through the world's ambassadors in France.

Speaking to some 250 ambassadors, Macron emphasised on the four priorities that he fixed last year -  security, common goods, France's global attractivity and Europe.


Less US participation in EU security, new security project with Russia a possibility

Macron said that Europe could not entrust its security to the United States only, and that it was necessary for Europe to stand on its own two feet.

"We must face our responsibilities and ensure a safe and sovereign Europe," Macron said.

Reminding his audience of the consequences of the Cold War, Macron said European nations needed to work with Russia on the subject. He however stated that any cooperation with Moscow would depend on significant progress on the crisis in Ukraine.

Macron recommended fresh dialogue on cybersecurity, chemical and traditional weapons, as well as on territorial and spatial conflicts. Concerning Russia, the protection of the polar zones was deemed a priority


Brexit: European unity before UK-France relationship

Concerning Brexit, President Macron insisted that he would like to see a deal made before the end of the year.

"Brexit is a sovereign decision, and must be respected", said Macron. But he maintained that from France's point of view, the UK's decision could not override European unity.

"This was a choice of the British people for themselves, and not for any others", he said. He emphasised that France wanted a special and strong relationship with the UK, but "not at the price of the dissolution of the EU."

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the annual French ambassadors' conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris © Reuters

Middle East: heartfelt appeal for Syria, calls for diplomacy in Libya and Iran

President Macron warned against a new humanitarian crisis in the Idlib province in Syria, the last stronghold for rebel and jihadist groups in the country. While he said that the Syrian situation was nearing its "hour of truth", he warned that maintaining Bashar al-Assad in power would be a "gruesome" mistake.

Concerning Libya, Macron called for stability in the country, and hoped that the agreement made in Paris by the four main factions would give way to elections.

Speaking about Iran, Macron reaffirmed his support for the nuclear agreement reached in 2015. Doubt has been thrown on the agreement ever since the US unilaterally pulled out of the deal earlier this year.


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