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France’s Macron calls for EU cooperation over Afghanistan crisis

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said that Afghanistan should not become again the "sanctuary of terrorism" that it was until the US-led invasion two decades ago, after the Taliban regained control of the country.

France's Macron calls for EU cooperation over Afghanistan crisis
Emmanuel Macron was speaking from the Fort de Bregancon presidential summer residence. Photo: Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP.

“This is key for international security and peace… we will do everything for Russia, the United States and Europe to cooperate efficiently as our interests are the same,” Macron said in a televised address from his summer residence.

Macron called on the UN Security Council to come up with a “reasonable and unified” response and said he had spoken to Prime Minister Boris Johnson of fellow permanent UNSC member Britain, adding that “joint initiatives” would be agreed in the next hours.

He described the situation in Afghanistan as an “important challenge for our own security” and a “fight against a common enemy of terrorism”.

“Our actions will above all be aimed at fighting actively against Islamist terrorism in all its forms,” said Macron. “Terrorist groups are present in Afghanistan and seek to profit from the instability”.

He said the European Union would set up an initiative to thwart the large migrant flows now expected from the country, cracking down on illegal people smuggling rings that risk emerging.

France, Germany and other EU countries would put together a response that was “robust, coordinated and united” to prevent irregular migration by harmonising criteria and showing European solidarity.

“We must anticipate and protect ourselves against significant irregular migratory flows that would endanger the migrants and risk encouraging trafficking of all kinds,” he said.

But he emphasised that France will continue to do “its duty to protect those who are most under threat in Afghanistan”.

He said almost 800 Afghans including translators and cooks who helped France on the ground had already been taken to French territory and dozens more who remain in Afghanistan would be helped to leave.

Macron also said France was ready to help activists, artists and journalists who risk being targeted because of their work.

“We will help them as it is the honour of France to be side-by-side with those who share our values,” he said. Addressing fears that the Taliban will restrict the rights of women, he added: “Afghan women have the right to live in freedom and dignity.”

“We will say very clearly to those who opt for war, obscurantism and blind violence that they have chosen isolation,” he said.

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EMMANUEL MACRON

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

 
The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.
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