Macron has outlined a vision based on collaboration among four entities: the national forces, European treaties (with reciprocal protection clauses), NATO and the UN system.


According to him, it is not in France's interest to question its place in [NATO's] integrated military command, but that France will try to limit NATO interventions beyond its geographical reach to those cases alone which directly impact the interests of France.


France, in the wake of Brexit, is the only European Union permanent member of the UN Security Council with a right to veto, which would give France leverage to promote common EU interests and positions within the organisation. He would also advocate the expansion of the Security Council, maintaining that Germany, Japan, India and Brazil, as well as a country from Africa should be granted permanent member status.


At the start of his foreign policy programme he states that the presidency of Donald Trump is of concern to French citizens but that France is lucky to have close relations with the United States and its allies. However, he also points out that the prospect of gradual withdrawal of the United States coupled with the growing security challenges facing Europe will force France to adopt a joint European foreign and defence policy though this vision does not necessarily include all 27 member states. He sees it rather as part of a variable-geometry Europe in partnership with those member states which are ready to move forward.


His position on Russia seems to exclude any rapprochement: According to him Vladimir Putin's Russia is playing a dangerous foreign policy game, which unhesitatingly brushes aside international law. Though Europe, in his view, is destined to come to an agreement with Russia on the situation in Ukraine, Macron maintains that sanctions exist and will be necessary as long as the Minsk agreements [the Ukraine ceasefire signed in September 2014] are not upheld, though at the same time he would consider lifting them if the situation in Ukraine invites us to. He further states that the NATO-Russia dialogue must not be abandoned.


Regarding Syria, Macron has claimed to be in favour of a French military intervention in the country if President Bashar al-Assad's government proves to be responsible for the chemical attack on Idlib. He also sets down another condition, that the intervention be carried under the aegis of the UN – where Russia holds the power to veto. With this in mind, Macron declares that the right of veto must be framed with precision for cases involving proven risks of mass crimes. Overall, he believes that toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad should not be a prerequisite for every decision, the main goal being to combat IS, the al-Nusra Front, etc. Macron means to give priority to political dialogue, while refusing to allow the United States and Russia, which are deeply opposed on the issue, decide the fate of Syria.


On Palestine-Israel, Macron aligns himself with French tradition: The security of Israel is an unchangeable principle as is the legitimacy of the Palestinian state. He looks for the conditions for a lasting peace and stability to enable the two states to coexist in peace. On the other hand, he positioned himself against the unilateral recognition of Palestine, declaring that such recognition would serve no purpose. He is also opposed to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, claiming that the call to boycott amounts to anti-Zionist methods and is therefore deeply anti-Semitic.

Saudi Arabia

His programme questions relations between France and Saudi Arabia aligned with the Gulf monarchies. Macron states that France should engage talks with [both] Saudi Arabia and Iran without interfering in the two countries' power games. Saudi Arabia, should commit to responsible policies and under no circumstances sanction movements promoting violence and terrorism.  Macron dodges the issue of France’s arm sales to Riyadh asserting that not that many weapons have been sold. Yet Saudi Arabia and Qatar buy more French weapons that any other country, with respectively $ 13billion and $ 8.7 billion each in contracts.


Neglecting or opposing Iran's national policies would be an error which would undermine the authority of France. Likewise it would be an error to show excessive support of Saudi Arabia, as France has in the past - yet another middle-of-the-road stance advocating serious dialogue with the two regional powers. This includes taking a tough stand on Iran on issues of nuclear non-proliferation. He adds that while any overtures towards the country would have to continue, it is on the condition that Iran respects the 2015 nuclear agreement and contributes to regional stability.


France will continue supporting Lebanon, which is seen as a historic protectorate of France.


Regarding Turkey, Macron cautiously points out that given the current situation, the prerequisites for Turkey to join the EU have obviously not been met, and recent developments in the country do not bode well for a positive outcome. Nonetheless, Europe, he claims, must not shut the door on Turkey.


Calling France a defender of humanism, Macron maintains that French diplomatic efforts must focus on sub-Saharan Africa, on the Sahel, on Maghreb, on countries hit by crisis, and on the French-speaking world.


He also approaches the question from the angle of the refugee crisis, with Europe, once more, seen as a lever for actions to stabilise Libya and to curb the human trafficking that is causing such intolerable tragedies throughout the Mediterranean.


With regards to admitting refugees, Macron says France needs to take its responsibility. He places the issue at the heart of a collaborative European effort and calls for tighter and more efficient border controls as well as the combatting of organisations and criminal networks, [with a] balanced allocation of refugees among EU countries. Asylum reform aimed at "speeding up" the process is also on the agenda.


Macron sees immigration, and in particular the welcoming of foreign students from Africa among others, as a source of good fortune and pride. He makes no mention of modifying current legislation and intends above all to promote better conditions for integrating foreigners.


Terrorism, and in particular the fight against the Islamic State group, is extensively covered in Macron’s programme: The terrorist networks of al-Qaeda and IS are a strategic challenge for France. That said, Macron adds that  France needs to understand why there are breeding grounds in the country, and why France is responsible for them. Thus the question of terrorism is placed at the crossroads of an economic, social, cultural and religious battle. Terrorism therefore is not only seen as an outside threat but as an issue forcing the country to confront the fact that the French society, its economy has produced anomie, a sense of exclusion, individual fates that have pushed certain people to commit those atrocities, adding that Islamist ideology ... would not have such a hold on young French people if the Republic had not left some of its young behind. 

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