Ambassador Philippe Etienne discussed current important topics for France in the MENA region. First, regarding the Iran nuclear deal, the Ambassador stated that Iran “must cooperate” with the IAEA, an opinion shared by 56 countries. He also stressed that negotiations are a matter of “regional security.” Then, he recognized the importance of President Macron’s visit to Algeria, during which both countries decided to “turn to the future” while not ignoring the past. Philippe Etienne said France is paying close attention to the situation in Iraq, but also in Lebanon, where it cooperate with Saudi Arabia for humanitarian activities. He stressed the importance France gives to the region and its close coordination with the US and NATO allies. This coordination can be found for Yemen and Lebanon, but also “beyond the Middle East,” in Sahel and Ukraine. Finally, the Ambassador said France was still “strongly committed to the two-state solution,” between Israel and Palestine.
Interview by Andrew Parasiliti and Elizabeth Hagedorn for Al Monitor,