Prime Minister Calls for De-Escalation in Iran

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has issued a joint statement with the leaders of France and Germany on the current situation in Iran. His announcement comes after the threat of violence and military action by Iran and the United States increased.

Johnson and the other leaders said:

“We have condemned the recent attacks on coalitions forces in Iraq and are gravely concerned by the negative role Iran has played in the region, including through the IRGC and the Al-Qods force under the command of General Soleimani.

There is now an urgent need for de-escalation. We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped.”

The UK, France, Germany and the European External Action Service Issue Statement on Iran

The UK, France, Germany and the European External Action Service have issued a joint statement on the current situation in Iran.

“The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, the UK, and the High Representative are extremely concerned at Iran’s announcement that it has exceeded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action stockpile limit for low enriched uranium. The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed this information.

We have been consistent and clear that our commitment to the nuclear deal depends on full compliance by Iran. We regret this decision by Iran, which calls into question an essential instrument of nuclear non-proliferation.

We urge Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal. We are urgently considering next steps under the terms of the JCPoA in close coordination with other JCPoA participants.”

France, Germany, United States and UK Issue Joint Statement on Russian Attack

The Governments of France, Germany, the United States and the UK have issued a joint statement following the attack in Salisbury which has been attributed to the Russians.

The text of the statement reads:

“We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, abhor the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, UK, on 4 March 2018. A British police officer who was also exposed in the attack remains seriously ill, and the lives of many innocent British citizens have been threatened. We express our sympathies to them all, and our admiration for the UK police and emergency services for their courageous response.

This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War. It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all.

The United Kingdom briefed thoroughly its allies that it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack. We share the UK assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia´s failure to address the legitimate request by the UK government further underlines its responsibility. We call on Russia to address all questions related to the attack in Salisbury. Russia should in particular provide full and complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Our concerns are also heightened against the background of a pattern of earlier irresponsible Russian behaviour. We call on Russia to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold international peace and security”.

Prime Minister Speaks to President Macron of France over Salisbury Incident

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has spoken to President Macron of France following the attack in Salisbury which is now being attributed to the Russians. The President joined in the condemnation of the attack and issued his support for the British Government on the matter.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“The Prime Minister spoke to President Macron of France to update him on the latest situation regarding the incident in Salisbury on 4 March. She outlined the conclusion reached by the Government that it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

They discussed the wide pattern of aggressive Russian behaviour and agreed that it would be important to continue to act in concert with allies to address it. President Macron condemned the attack and offered his solidarity with the UK. They agreed that the French and British governments should coordinate closely as the investigation developed and following Russia’s response”.

Government Confirms Bayeux Tapestry to Return to UK for Special Exhibition

The Government has confirmed that agreement has been made with the French Government to allow the Bayeux Tapestry to be displayed in the UK as part of a special exhibition. The historic item will be displayed in 2022 and it will be the first time that it has returned to the UK for 900 years.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said in a statement:

“Our shared history is reflected in the loan of the Bayeux Tapestry to the UK in 2022, the first time it will be on British soil in more than 900 years. The loan of the Tapestry will form part of a wider cultural exchange taking place between Britain and France over the next four years. I am honoured at the loan of such a precious piece of our shared history which yet again underscores the closeness of the UK-France relationship”.

UK, French and German Governments Issue Declaration on the US Stance on Iran

The British Government has issued a joint statement with President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany over the US stance on Iran.

The statement reads:

“We, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump’s decision not to recertify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to Congress and are concerned by the possible implications.

We stand committed to the JCPoA and its full implementation by all sides. Preserving the JCPoA is in our shared national security interest. The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme is not diverted for military purposes. The JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2231. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPoA through its long-term verification and monitoring programme. Therefore, we encourage the US Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement.

At the same time as we work to preserve the JCPoA, we share concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and regional activities that also affect our European security interests. We stand ready to take further appropriate measures to address these issues in close cooperation with the US and all relevant partners. We look to Iran to engage in constructive dialogue to stop de-stabilising actions and work towards negotiated solutions.

Our governments are committed to ensuring the JCPoA is maintained. Independent of the JCPOA, we need to make sure that our collective wider concerns are being addressed.

We have asked our Foreign Ministers to consider with the US how to take these issues forward”.

French Government Minister Criticises Boris Johnson, the new Foreign Secretary

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Boris Johnson, the new Foreign Secretary, has been fiercely criticised by Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister.

Reuters quote the French Minister as saying:

“I am not at all worried about Boris Johnson, but… during the campaign he lied a lot to the British people and now it is he who has his back against the wall”.

Boris Johnson is yet to respond to the criticism.

 

The Prime Minister has had Talks with French President

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David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has had talks with Francois Hollande, the French President, to discuss current events.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said:

“The Prime Minister held talks with President Hollande in the margins of the Somme centenary commemoration event in France today.

They agreed the bilateral relationship between the UK and France was enduring and strong, and that our defence and security cooperation in particular would continue to go from strength to strength, based on the solid foundation of the Lancaster House Treaty.

They agreed a mutual commitment to continue working closely together to protect our shared border in Calais and to maintain the so-called ‘juxtaposed controls’.

They discussed Hinkley and agreed that there was continued UK and French support for the project.

The Prime Minister also reiterated his view that the UK should seek the closest possible relations with the EU and in that context, the need for constructive post-referendum negotiations”.

Government Issues Joint Statement over Libya

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The United Kingdom has joined the Governments of Algeria, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States in calling for a new Government of National Accord in Libya.

The Government statement said:

“We strongly encourage all parties to form a Government of National Accord. Only a Government of National Accord can begin the difficult work of establishing effective, legitimate governance, restoring stability, and preserving the unity of the country, as expected by all Libyans.

We commend the courage of these HoR and GNC members who face intimidation by hardliners on both sides seeking to frustrate progress towards a GNA. We admire their determination to build a united Libya which will be able to combat instability, extremism and terrorism. We remind those attempting to impede progress that they will be held to account by the Libyan people and by the international community for their actions”.

UK allows French to use Cyprus base for their air strikes on Syria

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The British Government has allowed the French to use their military base in Cyprus to conduct air strikes on Syria. The decision comes after a meeting between the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the French President, François Hollande.

The base to be used is RAF Akrotiri which is a British military station which has been in use since the 1950s. The military base is around 300 kilometres from Syria and will not be used for direct air strikes but just for refuelling and serving French fighters.

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said:

“This offer is another demonstration of our solidarity with our French allies. It is right that we do all we can to help them hit ISIL harder. Meanwhile, we will continue to strike this vile organisation in Iraq and build the case for extending those strikes to Syria”.