Europe must help Palestine and Israel break deadlock - Minister
Iran/Middle East peace process/Tunisia/Libya – Statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, on his arrival at the European Union Foreign Affairs Council
Brussels, 20 July 2015
THE MINISTER – Today we’re going to look at several issues, and four major ones in particular.
The first is the agreement with Iran. This is an absolutely major diplomatic effort. I think a good balance has been achieved. France contributed to this. It’s going to guarantee that there’s no Iranian atomic bomb and, at the same time, allow the Iranians to develop their civilian nuclear energy – which is their right – and, I hope, contribute to a certain improvement in the region. So we’re going to begin by addressing this issue of Iran.
Middle East peace process
We’re then going to move on to the Palestine and Israel issue. The Middle East peace process is at a standstill. The situation is bad. Europe must help the two parties take initiatives to break the deadlock.
We’re then going to address the Tunisia issue, in the presence of Tunisia’s Prime Minister and its Foreign Minister. France has been, and is, as you know, very active. For the EU it’s a question of there being action regarding security, short-term economic action – because Tunisia is in a very difficult situation – and medium-term economic action.
And then Bernardino León, who is the United Nations’ Special Representative for Libya, will update us on the agreement reached in Morocco on 11 July. We support this agreement and want all the stakeholders to join it so that we manage – this is absolutely essential – to improve the situation in Libya. So it’s an important day.
Q. – What’s your response to the concerns raised by Iran’s neighbours?
THE MINISTER – We are of course taking them into account. As you know, France was firm in this negotiation. Why? Because, to start with, it’s a very serious issue. We’re talking about an atomic bomb. At stake in the negotiation was peace and security in the region. France negotiated with, as always, the goal of non-proliferation. So we secured a whole series of guarantees on the number of centrifuges, on the difficult sites, on uranium quantities, on the controls and inspections. The conditions we laid down were met. We’ll make sure that all this is strictly complied with in the future.
The agreement is due to be looked at this morning. During the day there will be a United Nations resolution which is going to endorse the agreement we reached. More approvals will of course need to be gained at parliamentary level, but I think that, having negotiated this agreement, it’s a major political agreement.