The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 3, 2016
In this issue:

◢  North Korea – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (March 2, 2016)

◢  Ukraine – Ministerial meeting in the Normandy format (Paris - March 3, 2016)

◢  United States – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State (Paris - March 4, 2016)

◢  Saudi Arabia – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart (Paris - March 4, 2016)

◢  Syria – E3 meeting (Paris - March 4, 2016)

◢  Burundi – Benjamin Mkapa's nomination as mediator by the East African Community (March 3, 2016)

◢  Health / UN – Announcement of the establishment of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (March 2, 2016)

 
North Korea – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (March 2, 2016)

I welcome the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council of resolution 2270 which substantially strengthens the sanctions regime imposed on North Korea.

This is a firm and determined response on the part of the international community to this country's irresponsible and unacceptable provocations. France very strongly condemned the nuclear test on January 6 as well as the ballistic missile launch on February 7.

I again urge North Korea to immediately comply with its international obligations and to proceed with the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear and ballistic programs. I also urge it to resume the path of dialogue and to finally make a positive contribution to peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and the region.



Ukraine – Ministerial meeting in the Normandy format (Paris - March 3, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive his German, Russian and Ukrainian counterparts this evening for a ministerial meeting in the Normandy format, five months after the summit hosted in Paris on October 2, 2015.

The ministers will take stock of the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. They will examine the concrete measures that must be taken in order to consolidate the ceasefire and improve the security and humanitarian situation. The discussions will also focus on the arrangements for the local elections in eastern Ukraine, in order to ensure that they take place in the first half of this year, as well as on the security of these elections.

France is determined to make concrete progress toward resolving the conflict. We reaffirm our attachment to the central role of the Minsk Agreements and the need to implement them.



United States – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State (Paris - March 4, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will meet with Antony Blinken, United States Deputy Secretary of State, on March 4.

The discussions will principally focus on the Syrian crisis, cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the major international issues.



Saudi Arabia – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart (Paris - March 4, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will meet with his Saudi counterpart, Adel Al-Jubeir, on March 4 on the occasion of the visit to France by Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Muhammad bin Nayef.

With the shared priority of peace and security in the Middle East, they will jointly address the main regional issues, including the Syrian crisis, and will underscore the need for our two countries to develop their cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Jean-Marc Ayrault will also discuss the development of our bilateral relations with his interlocutor.



Syria – E3 meeting (Paris - March 4, 2016)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault will welcome his German and British counterparts on March 4 to discuss the Syrian crisis. Helga Schmid, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, will represent the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

They will review the implementation of the cessation of hostilities, which entered into force on February 27 and must be fully respected.

They will also examine the humanitarian situation and stress the fact that aid must be distributed throughout Syria, without restrictions, in keeping with international humanitarian law and UN Security Council resolutions. For France, this is a true test of the implementation of the cessation of hostilities.

The inter-Syrian negotiations under the auspices of the UN will also be discussed, with the aim of achieving a political solution in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254.



Burundi – Benjamin Mkapa's nomination as mediator by the East African Community (March 3, 2016)

France welcomes the nomination, by the heads of state of the East African Community, of Benjamin Mkapa as mediator of the Burundian Dialogue. The date for resuming that dialogue should be announced shortly.

The pledges made by the Burundian authorities with respect to mobilizing regional and international actors to resolve the crisis must be put in to practice in a timely fashion.

New measures are expected, particularly with regard to effectively respecting human rights and basic freedoms, and creating greater openness in the public sphere and the media.



Health / UN – Announcement of the establishment of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (March 2, 2016)

France welcomes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's announcement of the establishment of the UN Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth.

It will be co-chaired by the French President and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma.

It is designed to boost the recruitment of healthcare personnel in developing countries to help achieve the global goals of health, economic growth and social progress. France champions the right of all—and particularly the most vulnerable populations—to have access to quality healthcare services provided by competent, motivated personnel spread evenly throughout their nations.

The first meeting of this commission will be held in Lyon on March 23, at the same time as the High-Level Conference on Global Health Security. A second meeting should take place on the sidelines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York this September

This initiative is in line with France's long-term commitment to global health and its support for the World Health Organization.



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