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The Latest: Macron says Iran move could still calm tensions

August 27, 2019
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French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the annual French ambassadors conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Aug. 27 2019. French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for a new global economic order, decrying an "unprecedented crisis" in the market economy. (Yoan Valat, Pool via AP)
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French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the annual French ambassadors conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Aug. 27 2019. French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for a new global economic order, decrying an "unprecedented crisis" in the market economy. (Yoan Valat, Pool via AP)

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is acknowledging that his efforts to bring Iran and the U.S. together are “fragile” but says he still sees a “possible path” to rapprochement after decades of conflict.

After inviting the Iranian foreign minister as a surprise guest to the Group of Seven summit in France, Macron said Tuesday that his risky diplomatic maneuver helped create “the possible conditions of a useful meeting.”

He expressed hope at the G-7 on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani could meet within weeks. Trump said there was a “really good chance” that could happen — but Rouhani said Tuesday that the U.S. president must first lift sanctions imposed on Tehran.

Macron said afterward that it’s France’s responsibility to play the “role of a balancing power” and that his efforts allowed hope for a “de-escalation” of tensions.

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1:15 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is shrugging off Brazil’s rejection of international aid to fight Amazon wildfires, saying the money is aimed at nine countries in the region and is a sign of friendship — not “aggressiveness.”

Macron put the Amazon fires high on the agenda of the Group of Seven summit in France, where world powers pledged this week some $40 million to fight the fires and plant new trees because of the Amazon’s importance to the global environment.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accused France and other rich countries of treating the region like a “colony.”

In a diplomatic speech Tuesday, Macron called that interpretation a “mistake.” He said, “We would happily accept international solidarity, it’s a sign of friendship.”

He said the money isn’t just aimed at Brazil but at nine countries in the Amazon region, including Colombia and Bolivia. France too considers itself an Amazon country via its overseas region of French Guiana.

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12:30 p.m.

France’s president says it’s time for Europe to redefine its relations with Russia to check its global ambitions and avoid being caught in the middle of a new Cold War.

Emmanuel Macron didn’t say whether he wants to lift EU sanctions imposed over Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, but said new sanctions “are not in our interest.” He said it’s time to “rethink our relations with Russia,” without elaborating.

In a broad diplomatic speech Tuesday, Macron warned that pushing Russia farther away is a “deep strategic error.” He said Europe’s “weaknesses and mistakes” have helped lead Russia to boost its alliance with China and revive its influence in Syria, Libya and around Africa.

Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin met last week and vowed to give a new boost to peace talks with Ukraine. But the two disagreed on other issues, including Syria and the Russian crackdown on opposition protests.

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11:55 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for a new global economic order, decrying an “unprecedented crisis” in the market economy.

Amid uncertainty over U.S. trade policies, Macron said the market economy has become too finance-driven, creating inequalities “that are shaking up our political order.” He called for a global “rethink,” but did not offer details.

In a sweeping diplomatic speech Tuesday, Macron said “we are living the end of Western hegemony” in the world, in part as a result of Western “errors” over past centuries.

Macron spoke the day after hosting an intense G-7 summit clouded by concerns about U.S. trade policies and tensions with China and an economic slowdown. The G-7 ended with a call for “fair” and “open” trade but no mention of currencies or fiscal stimulus.

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