The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 2, 2016
In this issue:

◢  United Nations – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (Paris, March 2, 2016)

◢  European Union – Singapore – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Josephine Teo, Singapore's Senior Minister of State responsible for Foreign Affairs (March 2, 2016)

◢  Economic diplomacy – Meeting between Matthias Fekl and Mounir Mahjoubi, Chair of the National Digital Council (Paris, March 2, 2016)

◢  Hezbollah

◢  Ukraine

 
United Nations – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (Paris, March 2, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, met this morning with Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

This meeting provided an opportunity to reaffirm France's support for UN efforts to help the populations affected by the humanitarian crises. Jean-Marc Ayrault underscored the need to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and to guarantee unrestricted access to all populations in need, notably in Syria. He reaffirmed that France, together with its partners, would swiftly refer the issue of the protection of health workers in armed conflict to the Security Council.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss preparations for the World Humanitarian Summit, scheduled to take place in Istanbul on May 23 and 24, on the initiative of the UN secretary-general.

André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, also met with Stephen O'Brien. A meeting with the main French NGOs chaired by André Vallini was also held.



European Union – Singapore – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Josephine Teo, Singapore's Senior Minister of State responsible for Foreign Affairs (March 2, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will meet this afternoon with Josephine Teo, Singapore's Senior Minister of State responsible for Foreign Affairs and Transport.

This meeting will notably provide an opportunity to take stock of relations between the EU and Singapore.

During the meeting, Harlem Désir will also discuss the development of our bilateral relations within the framework of the strategic partnership between France and Singapore.



Economic diplomacy – Meeting between Matthias Fekl and Mounir Mahjoubi, Chair of the National Digital Council (Paris, March 2, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, received Mounir Mahjoubi, the new chair of the National Digital Council, today.

This meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the EU's position in the trade negotiations in progress on digital issues.

Established in 2011, the National Digital Council, whose missions were redefined and expanded in 2012, participates in the work of the strategic monitoring committee on trade negotiations, which brings together, on Matthias Fekl's initiative, all civil society representatives (NGOs, unions, associations, professional and parliamentary federations).



Hezbollah

What's your response to the decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council which deems Lebanon's Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization?

We take note of the decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council, which has declared Lebanon's Hezbollah to be a "terrorist" group.

During the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on July 22, 2013, the EU decided to include the armed wing of Hezbollah on the European list of terrorist organizations.

Together with Lebanon, we are attached to the "policy of dissociation" from the conflict in Syria and to the Baabda Declaration, approved in June 2012 by all Lebanese parties. France calls on all armed groups operating in Syria to respect UNSCR 2268 on the cessation of hostilities, with the exception of the fight against the terrorist groups identified by the Security Council, including Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra.



Ukraine

A local government representative, Christian Estrosi (President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region and of the metropolitan area of Nice Côte d'Azur) called the Crimean city of Yalta part of the Russian Federation. Do you have any comment on that?

France's position is clear and unwavering: like the European Union and the entire international community, France does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea.

This statement by a local elected official in no way represents the views of the French government.

For tomorrow's "Normandy Format" meeting, what are the arrangements for the press?

That information will be released shortly. Jean-Marc Ayrault is scheduled to speak.


France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
f t Flickr Instagram