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In Abu Dhabi, France’s Macron says must remain firm with Iran

Macron warned regional countries against exacerbating rising tensions. (AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he wanted to remain firm with Iran regarding its ballistic missile program and influence in the Middle East, but warned regional countries against exacerbating rising tensions.

The French leader arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday for a two-day visit that will see him inaugurate a new Louvre museum, hold talks on the geopolitical situation with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, before ending his trip in Dubai to attend an economic forum.

President Macron (C-R) and his wife Brigitte Macron (C-L) chat with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (R) and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum during the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum on November 8, 2017. (AFP)

 

In an interview with the government-linked al-Ittihad newspaper posted on the French embassy website, Macron repeated his country’s stance that there was no alternative to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

“At the same time, it is also important for us to remain firm with Iran with regard to its regional activities and its ballistic missile program,” Macron was quoted as saying.

With tensions mounting in Lebanon following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and an attempted ballistic missile strike on Riyadh by Houthi rebels in Yemen, Macron warned about an escalation in the region.

“Today, more than ever, we need a region of peace and responsible regional actors working for the stability of the Middle East,” Macron said. “The opening of an additional front would only exacerbate tensions and further destabilize the region.”
 

Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron look at a piece of art as they visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum in Abu Dhabi, UAE, November 8, 2017. (Reuters)


 

Battle against ISIS to go on

President Macron said Thursday that the ISIS group faced complete military defeat in Iraq and Syria within months but warned the battle against militants would go on.

He was speaking after Syrian troops and allied militiamen broke into the ISIS-held town of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border, edging closer to ousting the militants from their last urban stronghold in the country following their loss of Deir Ezzor, Mayadeen and their de facto capital Raqqa.

“We have won in Raqqa and the coming weeks and months, I am quite sure, will allow us to achieve complete military victory in the Iraq-Syria theatre,” Macron told French naval personnel deployed in Abu Dhabi for the war against ISIS.

“But that won’t be the end of this struggle. Long-term stabilization and combating terrorist groups will be indispensable complements to the inclusive and pluralist political solution we want to see emerge in the region.”

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Last Update: Thursday, 9 November 2017 KSA 11:11 - GMT 08:11
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