The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development
Spokesperson


Paris - November 6, 2015
In this issue:

◢  Climate – Informal ministerial meeting to prepare for COP21 (Paris - November 8 to 10, 2015)

◢  Syria – Meeting between Laurent Fabius and Khaled Khoja (Paris - November 6, 2015)

◢  Morocco – Celebration of the 60th anniversary of the declaration signed at La Celle Saint Cloud (November 9 to 10, 2015)

◢  Kosovo – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Hashim Thaci, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (Paris - November 6, 2015)

◢  Belarus – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Alena Kupchyna, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Paris - November 6, 2015)

◢  European Union – Youth employment – Visit by Harlem Désir to Rouen (November 6, 2015)

◢  Migration – Preparations for the summit in Valetta – Annick Girardin’s participation in a meeting with the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (Paris - November 5, 2015)

◢  Russia – Press speculation on the Sinai plane crash

◢  Situation in Burundi

◢  Climate – 26th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (November 5, 2015)

◢  Brazil – Dam rupture (November 5, 2015)

◢  Lebanon – Death of six Sunni clerics in an attack (November 5, 2015)

 
Climate – Informal ministerial meeting to prepare for COP21 (Paris - November 8 to 10, 2015)

Laurent Fabius, COP21 President, this morning presented to the press the main goals of the informal ministerial meeting - the “pre-COP” - which he will chair together with Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Peruvian Minister of Environment and COP20 President.

This “pre-COP” meeting will take place in Paris from November 8 to 10 and will bring together around 70 countries, including almost 60 at the ministerial level. Four major items will be included on the agenda: the ambitions of the agreement, its fairness, the concrete actions to be undertaken before 2020 and the funding required after 2020.

With three weeks left until the opening of the Paris conference, this meeting is a key step toward reaching a compromise that will ensure the adoption of a universal, ambitious and legally binding agreement in December



Syria – Meeting between Laurent Fabius and Khaled Khoja (Paris - November 6, 2015)

Laurent Fabius met today with President of the Syrian National Coalition Khaled Khoja. He reaffirmed France’s support for the Coalition, which must play a central role in bringing together the moderate opposition.

Laurent Fabius underscored the need to swiftly consolidate the progress made through the Vienna process by reaffirming our priorities:

  • the fight against Daesh, which France is resolutely waging;
  • a political transition that would remove Bashar al-Assad, but would include elements of the regime and the opposition and preserve the Syrian state;
  • the urgent need to put an end to the indiscriminate bombing against civilians in Syria, notably including the regime’s barrel bombs attacks;
  • and the importance of improving humanitarian access, as set out in the Vienna Communiqué.



Morocco – Celebration of the 60th anniversary of the declaration signed at La Celle Saint Cloud (November 9 to 10, 2015)

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the declaration signed at La Celle Saint Cloud on November 6, 1955, which paved the way for Morocco’s independence, French-Moroccan friendship will be showcased and celebrated in Paris.

On Monday, November 9, the Institut du Monde Arabe will host the “France-Morocco: a shared history, common challenges” symposium, organized in partnership with the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies and the Jacques Berque Center, with the support of the Embassy of Morocco.

The minister will host a dinner on Tuesday, November 10. At the invitation of the ministers of foreign affairs of France and Morocco, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, and in partnership with the Moroccan National Tourist Office, the event will bring together numerous emblematic figures – entrepreneurs, artists and intellectuals – who foster the French-Moroccan friendship.



Kosovo – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Hashim Thaci, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (Paris - November 6, 2015)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, today received Hashim Thaci, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, to take stock of Kosovo’s application to join UNESCO, a few days before the bid is due to be put to a vote at the UNESCO General Conference on November 9.

This meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss the progress achieved in the process to normalize relations with Serbia as well as Kosovo’s relations with the EU, following the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement on October 27.



Belarus – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Alena Kupchyna, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Paris - November 6, 2015)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, this morning received Alena Kupchyna, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus.

This meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of developments in the relations between the EU and Belarus, following the temporary suspension of sanctions in response to the release of the last political prisoners and the holding of presidential elections on October 11.

Harlem Désir reaffirmed the efforts expected with respect to human rights and democratic principles. The constructive role played by Belarus in helping to find a lasting solution to the Ukrainian crisis and the development of bilateral economic relations were also discussed during the meeting



European Union – Youth employment – Visit by Harlem Désir to Rouen (November 6, 2015)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will conduct a visit to Rouen this morning to focus on EU mobilization in support of youth employment.

He will visit the Seine-Maritime education and training center, which has been awarded the access to education contract. This scheme enables young people under 25 who have left school or the vocational training system, to find their way back to employment. It helps more than 860 young people in the Haute-Normandie region, thanks to €3.7 million per year in co-financing provided by the European Social Fund and the EU Youth Employment Initiative.

During the visit, Harlem Désir will meet with young students and the training team. He will also deliver a speech at the close of the first day of the fall term at the French branch of the “European Movement” at the University of Rouen Faculty of Law, at the invitation of Jean-Marie Cavada, MEP and President of the European Movement in France.



Migration – Preparations for the summit in Valetta – Annick Girardin’s participation in a meeting with the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (Paris - November 5, 2015)

Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, brought together civil society actors within the framework of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity on November 5 in Paris.

This meeting provided an opportunity to exchange views on preparations for the summit which will bring together EU and African Union heads of state and government to discuss migration.

Annick Girardin reaffirmed that development assistance should provide a structural response to the causes of migration and that a true partnership with the African countries was essential in order to address this challenge.



Russia – Press speculation on the Sinai plane crash

Journalists in France are free to express their opinions, but they do not reflect the views of the French government.

We were among the first to express our condolences to the Russian people and authorities on Saturday, as soon as we learned of this terrible tragedy.

France has made investigators available from the Bureau d’Equêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA) [the French authority responsible for safety investigations into accidents or incidents in civil aviation], who are now on the ground to help Egyptian and Russian investigators.

We will refrain from commenting on the causes of this tragedy as the investigation is still under way.



Situation in Burundi

France is very concerned by the ongoing deterioration of the situation in Burundi, which has seen a proliferation of violent acts and human rights violations. France condemns hate speech, which involves unacceptable portrayals of various ethnic groups.

We call on all actors in Burundi, the government and the opposition, to show restraint and engage in a political dialogue, the only thing that can resolve the current crisis, in keeping with the Arusha agreement. France supports the various efforts under way in this regard by the African Union and various countries of the region, particularly Uganda.

France and its European partners placed Burundi on the agenda of upcoming sessions of the Human Rights Council. Their work resulted in the October 2nd adoption by consensus of a resolution giving the High Commissioner for Human Rights a mandate to assess and report back to the Council on the human rights situation in Burundi.

At our request, the UN Security Council will hold a meeting on November 9 on the situation in Burundi; it will be attended by representatives from the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the African Union.



Climate – 26th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (November 5, 2015)

France welcomes yesterday’s decision in Dubai by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol to open talks on the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons, which are powerful greenhouse gases.

The aim is to adopt an amendment to the Protocol in mid-2016 to regulate these gases.

This decision, coming three weeks before the opening of the Paris climate conference, is an important step forward.



Brazil – Dam rupture (November 5, 2015)

We were saddened to learn of yesterday’s breach of a dam belonging to a mining company in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, which left many dead.

France offers its condolences to the victims’ families at this painful time and stands with the people and authorities of Brazil.



Lebanon – Death of six Sunni clerics in an attack (November 5, 2015)

France condemns yesterday’s attack on a group of clerics meeting in the eastern Lebanese town of Ersal. Those responsible for these crimes will not go unpunished.

France reiterates its support for Lebanon and Lebanese institutions in the face of terrorist threats, and particularly for the army and security forces, which guarantee the country’s unity and stability.

It urges the Lebanese to unite to bring concrete solutions to the political crisis and security threats.



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