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Emmanuel Macron Defends Strategic Alliances, Announces New Military Aid to Ukraine

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Emmanuel Macron discusses Normandy landings, new military aid to Ukraine, and calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. He emphasizes the importance of democratic participation ahead of European elections.

Emmanuel Macron Addresses Normandy Landings Commemorations and International Affairs

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, took the opportunity of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings to discuss major international issues during a primetime interview on TF1 and France 2. The conversation ranged from the ongoing war in Ukraine to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing France's strategy in these global crises. Macron drew historical parallels between World War II and the current conflict in Ukraine, arguing the importance of defending Ukrainian sovereignty against what he called 'an imperialist power.'

France's Support to Ukraine

In line with this stance, Macron announced new cooperation measures with Kyiv, including the provision of Mirage 2000-5 fighter planes. 'Helping Ukraine means protecting our rights and their sovereignty,' he stated. Starting this summer, Ukrainian pilots will undergo a training program in France, designed to prepare them within five to six months. Additionally, a Ukrainian brigade comprising 4,500 soldiers will be trained on French soil and supplied with ammunition and weapons.

Macron noted that these actions are not to be seen as an escalation but rather as a necessary response to Russia's aggressive actions. The French leader also did not dismiss the possibility of sending French troops to train Ukrainian soldiers, adding that such a decision would be made collectively.

The Situation in Gaza

Turning his attention to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Macron condemned the attacks and called for an immediate ceasefire, describing the situation in Gaza as a humanitarian tragedy. France stands firm on its principles of condemning the October 7 attacks and insists on the release of hostages taken during those operations. Emmanuel Macron reiterated that while Israel has the right to defend itself, it must do so in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Macron also addressed the potential recognition of a Palestinian state, a move already made by countries like Spain and Sweden. He argued that such recognition should not be based on indignation but on meaningful diplomatic engagements. He emphasized that diplomatic work must be balanced with justice.

In light of the anti-Semitic acts that have surged by more than 1000% in 2023, Macron reiterated France's uncompromising stance against such acts, emphasizing the government's initiative to ensure peace and security for all communities.

Concerns About European Elections

Ahead of the European elections, Macron expressed worries about a possible 'blocking minority' if the National Rally (RN) were to secure a victory. He urged French citizens to vote, emphasizing the importance of participating in the democratic process to prevent the rise of the far-right across Europe. Macron acknowledged the difficulties in countering the far-right's rise but defended his administration's efforts to address the issues.

  • Macron's interview also touched upon the practical logistics of transferring military aid to Ukraine. He mentioned that although a definitive number of Mirage 2000-5 planes has not been confirmed, a coalition with other international partners is being formed to support this initiative.
  • Further discussions are expected when Macron hosts Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Élysée Palace. The meeting will include the signing of agreements providing 650 million euros in loans and donations to Ukraine, mainly aimed at bolstering the country's critical energy infrastructure targeted by Russia.
  • Macron reassured that while aiding *Ukraine* to resist, France does not seek an escalation of the conflict and maintains that it is not at war with the Russian people. He reasserted the necessity of balancing military support with efforts to avoid further escalation.
Clam Reports
Refs: | Le Parisien | Le Figaro |

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