French President Emmanuel Macron spoke in Rome on Sunday at the opening of an international peace summit organized by the Catholic community of Sant’Egidio, ahead of a meeting scheduled for the evening with new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
“At some point, depending on how things develop and when the Ukrainian people and their leaders decide, on the terms they decide, peace will be built with each other, who is today’s enemy, around a table,” he said. Emmanuel Macron during a speech at the opening of the international summit for peace organized by the Italian Catholic community Sant’Egidio.
“Peace cannot be the law of the strongest,” insisted the French president. “Ukrainians are fighting to save their freedom,” he recalled. “Peace is possible, but when the Ukrainians decide it and when it respects this dignity and this sovereignty”.
While supporting Ukraine diplomatically and militarily, the French head of state assumed since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict in February to continue to speak with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, unlike other Western leaders and in particular the American president, Joe Biden.
He again called on Friday in Brussels for Kiev and Moscow to return “around the table” when it is “acceptable” for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – but also “as soon as possible”.
This position was sometimes criticized and Emmanuel Macron used his speech on Sunday to justify it in front of hundreds of political and religious leaders from around the world gathered for this three-day forum.
Macron insisted on the need to have “courage” to “want peace”, even if “imagining peace in times of war” is “the greatest of the unthinkable”.
appeal to universalism
In an appeal to “universalism”, Emmanuel Macron, who introduced himself as “the president of a secular Republic that has a sometimes complex history with religions”, said that religions can fuel multilateralism. “They help to build the fabric of our societies, to establish relationships between individuals,” he argued.
The French head of state arrived in Rome on Sunday afternoon (23), where he will be received on Monday morning (24) by Pope Francis for a private audience at the Vatican, the third between the two men since the election of Emmanuel Macron. in 2017. At the end of his speech, he revealed that he will present the pontiff with an edition of the “Project for Perpetual Peace”, by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant.