Meeting of the Weimar Triangle foreign ministers
Q. – (on the candidates for the post of IMF Managing Director)
THE MINISTER – We didn’t talk about it, but we may have thought about it. I think our positions on it will move closer. We think it’s right for Europe to continue to fill the post of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and we have high-calibre candidates for that post. I think it would be very fortunate if we could agree on a proposal that could then be agreed at the International Monetary Fund.
Q. – (on Belarus and the Weimar Triangle countries’ positions on Libya)
THE MINISTER – I fully share my German counterpart’s opinion. This question of sanctions against Belarus will be examined at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday.
On Libya, as I had the opportunity of saying during my meeting in Berlin with Guido Westerwelle, all of us in Europe are pursuing the same goal. That goal is to get Gaddafi to go, because a regime that uses violence, with bloody crackdowns on public demonstrations, loses its legitimacy. And we agree on that. We had a disagreement about the resources to use; I won’t return to that.
Where are we today? We’re in the process of stepping up the military pressure to destabilize Gaddafi’s regime; you can see the operation currently under way. We also want to strengthen the Transitional National Council, and I’m delighted to see that more and more countries are today recognizing this Council. And finally, we’re seeking ways to ensure a political solution, to put all the parties involved around the table, to rebuild the Libya of tomorrow. And I’m sure that, in this search for a political solution, we – Germany, Poland and France – will agree to act in harmony.
I’d like to add a word about this question of the Middle East. It’s important for the European Union to play its role in this field, because our American friends won’t achieve a solution alone. So we must commit ourselves. I hope we can do so very clearly. In what way?
First of all, by reaffirming that the status quo is untenable for both Israel and the Palestinians. Given all the changes that have just taken place in the region, in Egypt, and the ones occurring in Syria – I won’t go any further down the list – we must get back round the negotiating table.
The second message is that these negotiations must include certain discussion parameters – those of the Quartet: in particular, a return to the 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps – and from this viewpoint President Obama’s statement is extremely important.
And thirdly – I may be expressing a more French viewpoint here – I think we must pay attention to inter-Palestinian reconciliation to see what it might offer and whether, in particular, all the Palestinian leaders agree to the Quartet’s conditions. I’m thinking in particular of recognition of the State of Israel within secure and guaranteed borders. That may be a path to explore, in an effort to relaunch the talks.
Q. – (on the IMF leadership)
THE MINISTER – I’d just like to add a word. It’s legitimate for Europe to retain this post: it’s the International Monetary Fund’s main shareholder. If there are several European candidates, the Managing Director of the Monetary Fund won’t be European./.