The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - January 22, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Economic diplomacy / Climate – Laurent Fabius’s participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos (January 21, 2016)

◢  Germany – French-German Day (January 22, 2016)

◢  Armenia – Visit by Annick Girardin (January 22-23, 2016)

◢  Israel / Palestinian Territories – Settlement activity

◢  Somalia – Terrorist attack (January 21, 2016)

◢  Egypt – Terrorist violence (January 20-21, 2016)

◢  Afghanistan – Attack on the TOLO News television station (January 20, 2016)

◢  Mali – Nomination of governors of Taoudenni and Ménaka regions (January 19, 2016)

◢  Economic diplomacy – Launch of "Conseils aux voyageurs d'affaires" section on France Diplomatie website

Economic diplomacy / Climate – Laurent Fabius’s participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos (January 21, 2016)

Laurent Fabius attended the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 21.

He took part in an event on climate and development, notably alongside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the prime ministers of Côte d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, and of Norway, Erna Solberg and President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim. The discussions focused on the implementation of the Paris agreement and numerous initiatives driven by the private sector. In his capacity as COP21 president, Laurent Fabius reaffirmed the importance of innovation in clean technologies in order to achieve the objective outlined in the Paris agreement to limit temperature increases to less than 2°C. In order to achieve this goal, concrete initiatives are vital; these include the “Mission Innovation” project notably launched by France and the United States during the Paris Climate Conference, which involves doubling the budget for research and development in clean technologies by 2020.

Laurent Fabius also underscored that France is one of the world’s most innovative countries. He had the opportunity, alongside the prime minister, to meet with numerous young entrepreneurs with innovative projects. On the sidelines of the forum, the minister notably met with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, with whom he discussed bilateral relations and key European and international issues.

Germany – French-German Day (January 22, 2016)

On the anniversary of the signing of the Elysée Treaty of 1963, Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs and Secretary General for French-German Cooperation, will visit Berlin to meet with his counterpart, Michael Roth. They will take part in a debate with students on the theme: “France and Germany in Europe: What do young people expect from Europe?” This meeting will echo the visit to the Quai d’Orsay on January 21 by a group of young people brought by the French-German Office for Youth to talk about diplomatic careers and the relationship between our two countries.

Harlem Désir will then visit the European Commission Representation in Berlin and a refugee welcome center in the Westend district.

On the occasion of French-Germany Day, we are launching a new version of the France Diplomatie website in Germany. It is available here:

Topical information about France’s international policy and numerous thematic issues will be available to the German-speaking public.

Armenia – Visit by Annick Girardin (January 22-23, 2016)

Annick Girardin will visit Yerevan from January 22 to 23.

Armenia, which has been a member of the International Organization of la Francophonie since 2012, recently reaffirmed its attachment to the Francophone identity by hosting the 31st Conference of the Ministers of la Francophonie in Yerevan on October 10 and 11.

Annick Girardin will hold discussions with the Armenian authorities concerning the prospects for teaching and spreading the French language. She will meet with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and with the ministers of foreign affairs and education. She will also meet with students from the French University in Armenia and French-speaking personalities in Armenia.

Israel / Palestinian Territories – Settlement activity

France is extremely concerned by the Israeli authorities’ decision to appropriate more than 150 hectares of agricultural land in the West Bank for the benefit of Israeli settlements.

Settlement activity is a violation of international law and contradicts the commitments made by the Israeli authorities in support of the two-state solution.

Somalia – Terrorist attack (January 21, 2016)

France condemns the barbaric attack in a Mogadishu restaurant on January 21 that killed many people.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and to the Somali authorities. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.

France applauds the effort of the Somali authorities to restore peace and security, with the support of the African Union. We and our partners stand shoulder to shoulder with the Somali government in the fight against terrorism.

Egypt – Terrorist violence (January 20-21, 2016)

France condemns the violence that took the lives of nine people in Cairo, including six members of the security forces, as well as the attack that killed five police officers in al-Arish, in the Sinai Peninsula, on January 20.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families.

France reaffirms its support for Egypt and stands by its side in the fight against terrorism.

Afghanistan – Attack on the TOLO News television station (January 20, 2016)

France condemns the January 20th attack on the TOLO News channel in Kabul, which left many dead.

Our thoughts go out to the victims, their families, and Afghanistan's media professionals. In targeting this network, it was the freedom of the press that the terrorists were attempting to attack.

France reiterates its support for the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression, both fundamental to building the rule of law.

Mali – Nomination of governors of Taoudenni and Ménaka regions (January 19, 2016)

France welcomes the nomination of the governors of the Malian regions of Taoudenni and Ménaka at the Council of Ministers of January 19.

Following the high-level consultative meeting of the follow-up committee of the peace and reconciliation agreement on January 18 in Algiers, these nominations demonstrate the positive attitude of the signatory parties and their determination to move forward.

France actively supports the implementation of the peace agreement, to which we are providing financial support on the order of nearly 80 million euros for the period of 2015-2017.

Economic diplomacy – Launch of "Conseils aux voyageurs d'affaires" section on France Diplomatie website

The annual meetings on the security of French businesses abroad organized by the crisis and support center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development took place on January 21 at the Quai d'Orsay.

There, Christian Masset, the Ministry's secretary-general, announced the creation of a "Conseils aux voyageurs d'affaires" ("Advice for Business Travelers") tab under the site's "Conseil aux voyageurs" heading.

Available since January 21, this category provides useful information on countries and on obtaining business visas.

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