In Lithuania, Emmanuel Macron maintains his call to work with Moscow

The French president urged his counterpart in Vilnius to “dispassionate” issues related to the neighborhood.

Tuesday, in Rukla, Lithuania, Emmanuel Macron, and his Lithuanian counterpart, Gitanas Nauseda, review a French battalion of the Reinforced Advanced Force (eFP) deployed by NATO, since 2016, in the three Baltic Republics.
Tuesday, in Rukla, Lithuania, Emmanuel Macron, and his Lithuanian counterpart, Gitanas Nauseda, review a French battalion of the Reinforced Advanced Force (eFP) deployed by NATO, since 2016, in the three Baltic Republics. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

Special envoy to Vilnius

Emmanuel Macron understands “The aspiration to freedom, peace and security” of the Baltic Republics after forty-five years under Soviet rule. “Your country, he summed up Monday evening during his press conference with President Gitanas Nauseda, did not have the same XXe century than mine “ and “The post-WWII period lasted a long time there.” However, on the first evening of his visit to Lithuania and Latvia, the French president reaffirmed his wish to “Work with Russia”. A year ago, the three Baltic republics gave a cold reception to his plan to establish a “Strategic dialogue” with the Kremlin. But the French president, who came to report to his hosts on this so far unsuccessful approach, does not intend to give it up. “The other, he told them, can always improve. “

This visit, the first by a French president since that of Jacques Chirac in 2001, takes place in an atmosphere un

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How Macron is waging his secret wars

INVESTIGATION – Since his election, the President has launched increasingly offensive military operations and authorizes serial “neutralizations”. Our collaborator Vincent Nouzille investigated this top secret facet of presidential action.

By Vincent Nouzille

Emmanuel Macron, May 14, 2019, during the tribute ceremony to the two special forces soldiers who died on May 10 during an operation in Burkina Faso.
Emmanuel Macron, May 14, 2019, during the tribute ceremony to the two special forces soldiers who died on May 10 during an operation in Burkina Faso. Jacques Witt / SIPA

It was a summery, but chilling defense council. On August 11, 2020, from Fort Brégançon, President Emmanuel Macron meets by videoconference with his Prime Minister Jean Castex, the royal ministers, the chief of staff of the armed forces and the bosses of the intelligence services. The agenda is serious, mourning the murder, on August 9, of eight people, two Nigerians and six French members of the NGO Acted, in the Kouré reserve, near Niamey, in Niger. A real massacre committed by men arriving on motorcycles.

Until now, this area still seemed protected from repeated attacks by jihadist groups who have spread their guerrillas in several countries of the Sahel. The 5,100 French soldiers of Operation Barkhane have increased for six months the lightning operations aimed at weakening the two main rival nebulae, the GSIM (Support Group for Islam and Muslims), linked to al-Qaida, and the EIGS (Islamic State in the Great Sahara), affiliated with Daesh, in particular

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Paris to the rescue of French-speaking education in Lebanon

In Beirut on Friday, Jean-Yves Le Drian invited the country’s officials to negotiate with the IMF.

By Sunniva Rose

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (left) with his Lebanese counterpart Nassif Hitti this Friday in Beirut.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (left) with his Lebanese counterpart Nassif Hitti this Friday in Beirut. Aziz Taher / REUTERS

Beirut

At the end of his two-day visit to Lebanon, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced on Friday a support of 15 million euros for French-speaking private schools in Lebanon, a country “on the edge of the abyss“, according to him. This amount represents a tenth of the funds of the post-Covid-19 emergency program launched by France to support the Francophonie in the world. “And that, because it is Lebanon!», underlined Jean-Yves Le Drian, to the applause of the crowd gathered to listen to him at the Carmel Saint-Joseph school, in Mechref, south of Beirut.

Despite its small size, Lebanon occupies a special place in the Francophonie: the Lebanese network of accredited schools is the largest in the world. With 60,000 students, it is far ahead of number two, Morocco, which has a population seven times larger. In total, more than half a million children in Lebanon are educated in French-speaking schools, the equivalent of

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facing China, Europe is slowly waking up

The European surge was accentuated by the repressive law intended to stifle the autonomy of Hong Kong.

Jean-Yves Le Drian swore that France would not remain inactive in the face of the hardening of Chinese policy in Hong Kong.
Jean-Yves Le Drian swore that France would not remain inactive in the face of the hardening of Chinese policy in Hong Kong. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

“The bunny and the turtle”. What better illustration, to evoke the race led by the United States and Europe in their resistance to conquering China, than this fable by La Fontaine? While Donald Trump is engaged in a speed race against the world number two, the European Union is slowly waking up. Until then, remained very measured in its responses to Chinese provocations, it is now raising the tone. “The EU will develop a coordinated response in support of Hong Kong autonomy”, promised Josep Borrell, his Minister of Foreign Affairs. Among the measures envisaged are the granting of visas and scholarships for Hong Kong people as well as restrictions on arms exports to the security forces. It was Germany and France who proposed adopting a common European position. “We are determined to move from words to deeds”, said Heiko Maas, the head of German diplomacy. As for Jean-Yves Le Drian, he swore

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EU foreign minister on Turkey: offer of dialogue with threat

DLuxembourg’s Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, recalled on Monday how the decision was taken unanimously in 2004 to open accession negotiations with Turkey. The Social Democrat had been at the table even then, he was one of the ardent supporters. And he was confirmed when the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan founded a “Alliance of Civilizations” a year later – a sign against the terrorist act of September 11, 2001 and the everywhere germinating Islamism.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

“If I now see in Turkey what is happening to Hagia Sophia,” said Asselborn on Monday, “it is a blow to the Alliance of Civilizations.” With this gesture, Turkey “wiped out” its decision at the time. The country has “developed in the wrong direction”. That was the intro to the policy debate on Turkey that the foreign ministers held on Monday – for the first time since the corona restrictions in person in Brussels again.

A lot had come together in the previous months. The transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, announced on Friday, was only added as the latest provocation by Erdogan. A dangerous incident on June 10 off the Libyan coast had caused a lot of excitement. Two Turkish warships and a French frigate were about to take the shot. The situation was escalating because the frigate wanted to control a Tanzanian freighter suspected of delivering arms to Libya. The Turkish ships had prevented that. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian then launched “further sanctions” against Turkey earlier this month – and said Paris had called a special meeting of EU foreign ministers. That was not entirely true, of course: the debate had been planned for some time. And the foreign commissioner Borrell had prepared them with personal visits to Athens and Ankara.

Dialogue offer including threat

After the “long and interesting” debate, the Spaniard announced a double approach. He was asked to “explore other avenues that could help alleviate tensions and reach agreements on issues that are putting increasing strain on our relations with Turkey.” But the ministers linked this offer of dialogue with a threat. “I will also prepare options for other appropriate measures that could be taken to address the challenges of Turkish action, including in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Borrell. He strictly adhered to the tortuous wording; it had obviously not been easy to agree on.

To put it more clearly: the EU is threatening Ankara with new sanctions if the dialogue is not fruitful. Such punitive measures would then complement those which the Foreign Ministers have already imposed on Turkey’s illegal oil and gas drilling in the economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus. To date, travel and account freezes have been directed against two senior Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) employees. Such measures are currently being prepared against other people proposed by Cyprus.

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The Figaro Letter of June 26, 2020

On the program: Erdogan places his pawns in Libya, the WHO fears a second wave of Covid-19, and a report with the Detroit police.

La Lettre du Figaro, your information meeting every morning.
The Letter from Figaro, your information meeting every morning. Le Figaro

Good morning all,

Turks, Qataris, Emiratis, Egyptians, Russians, French, but also Chadian, Sudanese and Syrian mercenaries … This long list is that of the actors in Libya. France fears the risk of escalation – she is right – and is afraid of seeing Erdogan take control of the territory. He could then threaten to send waves of migrants fleeing war into Europe.

This Letter contains other bad news, such as the increase in cases of Covid-19.

Have a nice day,

Ronan Planchon, journalist at Figaro

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Erdogan’s dangerous game in Libya

Recep Tayyip Erdogan et Emmanuel Macron, en 2018. OZAN ​​KOSE / AFP

A quagmire, a bag of knots, call it what you want, but the Libyan conflict is far from being on the way to settlement. We are even witnessing its “Syrianization” (Jean-Yves Le Drian).

Two camps clash, and do not make gifts. On the one hand, in Tripoli, that of the Government of National Unity (GNA) of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, recognized by the UN, and supported by Turkey

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Libyan conflict exacerbated by interference

The increasing involvement of Turkey has recently enabled the Tripoli government to push back Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his Russian supporters.

By Maryline Dumas

In order to denounce the threats of foreign intervention in the country, children wave Libyan and Berber flags by treading on portraits of the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the Emirate Mohammed Ben Zayed and Emmanuel Macron, last Sunday , during a demonstration, Place des Martyrs, in the center of Tripoli.
In order to denounce the threats of foreign intervention in the country, children wave Libyan and Berber flags by treading on portraits of the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the Emirate Mohammed Ben Zayed and Emmanuel Macron, last Sunday , during a demonstration, Place des Martyrs, in the center of Tripoli. MAHMUD TURKEY / AFP

The sound of Egyptian boots, the Franco-Turkish standoff, notable advances by the Tripoli camp on the ground and the weakening of the figure of the East, Khalifa Haftar: Libya has experienced many upheavals in recent weeks. So much so that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, mentioned a «syrianisation» of the conflict.

Since June 7, forces allied to the Government of National Unity (GNA) of Tripoli, recognized by the international community, mark time at the gates of Sirte, city of origin of the former dictator Moamer Kadhafi 450 km to the is from Tripoli. At the beginning of the month, his troops had chased the self-proclaimed Libyan Arab National Army (ANL) from Marshal Haftar, based in Cyrenaica (eastern region), near Tripoli, the capital on which it launched an offensive in April 2019.

The advance of the GNA was facilitated by the withdrawal of the mercenaries of the Russian paramilitary company Wagner, who supported the ANL, according to a very probable

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The Greek government warns Europe against “provocations” by Turkish

MAINTENANCE – Nikos Dendias, Greek minister of foreign Affairs, told the Figaro before a meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris on Monday.

By Alexia Kefalas

Nikos Dendias, Greek minister of foreign Affairs.
Nikos Dendias, Greek minister of foreign Affairs. Petros Giannakouris/AP/SIPA/Petros Giannakouris/AP/SIPA

Interview in Athens

For his first journey to Paris, the Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias is the guest of honour, Monday, for his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian. After a working lunch, they will attend the Council of ministers of foreign Affairs of the european Union. Beyond symbolic solidarity, the menu is loaded: tensions with neighbouring Turkey to the challenges in the eastern Mediterranean, without forgetting Libya.

LE FIGARO. – You go in France at a time when Turkey multiplies the threats in the region. What do you expect from Paris?

Nikos DENDIAS.– Actually, Turkey has been dangerously ratcheted up its provocations in the eastern Mediterranean. This is unacceptable. It does not stop the violations of our airspace and our territorial waters. In addition to the overflights of fighter jets armed to the top of the inhabited islands, as well as on our land at the Greek-Turkish border at Evros, in the north of the country. At the same time, Turkey

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In Libya, Turkey is to the west, Russia is to the east

Russian air support for Khalifa Haftar’s army counterbalances Turkish’s support for Tripoli’s forces.

By Maryline Dumas

A Libyan National Army fighter from Marshal Haftar points his gun at the portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 29 in Benghazi.
A Libyan National Army fighter from Marshal Haftar points his gun at the portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 29 in Benghazi. Esam Omran Al-Fetori / REUTERS

Tunis

Turks gain ground, Russians retreatWhen the Libyans talk about the fighting on their territory, they give the impression of being nothing more than referees counting the points. Moscow’s deployment of fighter jets is the latest sign that the conflict, which opened in 2014 between Marshal Haftar and the revolutionary brigades in Libyan West, has gone far beyond the two clans.

On May 26, Africom, the US Army Command for Africa, accuses Moscow of having “recently deployed military fighters to Libya to support private security companies sponsored by the Russian state. “ They are six MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets and two Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer fighter jets, escorted by two Russian Air Force planes, according to former security analyst Arnaud Delalande. The Interior Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNA) of Tripoli, Fathi Bachagha, had mentioned the arrival of these devices on May 21. The

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