John Kerry Visits Laurent Fabius in Paris
Statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Paris, March 27, 2013
This morning I had a meeting with John Kerry, who was in France for his only European stopover on the way back from a tour of the Middle East and Asia.
During a discussion that lasted nearly two hours, we spoke – following President Obama’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories – about the special role France can play, particularly alongside the United States, in relaunching the Middle East peace process.
As for Syria, we have similar views about the intolerable nature of the violence being perpetrated by the regime and about the growing concern over the risk of chemical weapons being used. I informed John Kerry of the state of the discussions under way in the European Union about the arms embargo.
With regard to Mali, we talked about the need to deal with every aspect enabling this crisis to be resolved: the fight against terrorism and the restoration of Mali’s sovereignty throughout the country, the political dialogue between all Malians and respect for the transition road map, and economic development. I confirmed to John Kerry our wish, after April, for a peacekeeping force under the aegis of the United Nations to be deployed by the end of July, in conjunction with the drawdown of French military forces.
We agreed to meet again in London on 10 April to take stock of all these subjects.