Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian traveled to Berlin today to attend a meeting of the German Cabinet.
Discussions focused on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the situation in the Sahel. The minister ? who was received by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock prior to the meeting ? also provided an update on the main issues being tackled by the French presidency of the EU Council. Following the Cabinet meeting, the French and German foreign ministers gave a joint press conference.
Mr. Le Drian emphasized the close cooperation between France and Germany on all these issues and their shared determination to respond firmly to President Putin's decision to recognize the self-proclaimed autonomous republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Today's adoption of the first European sanctions illustrates the firmness, unity and responsibility shown by Europeans in dealing with violations of both international law and Ukraine's territorial integrity.
In response to the Malian authorities' radical strategy, the minister stressed our commitment to remain engaged in the Sahel and to continue working closely with Germany and all of our European and African partners to combat terrorism.
The Aachen Treaty signed on January 22, 2019, stipulates that once per quarter, a member of the French or German government shall attend the Cabinet meeting of the other government, on an alternating basis. After first attending a German Cabinet meeting on March 27, 2019, Mr. Le Drian is the first member of the French government to take part in a German Cabinet meeting headed by Olaf Scholz.