The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 16, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Tunisia – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (March 17-18, 2016)

◢  Humanitarian action – Meeting between André Vallini and the president of the French Red Cross Fund (Paris - March 15, 2016)

◢  Balkans – Meeting between Harlem Désir, minister of state for European affairs, and organizers of a regional youth office project (March 16, 2016)

◢  Israel / Palestinian Territories – Settlements

◢  Libya

 
Tunisia – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (March 17-18, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will visit Tunis on March 17 and 18. He will represent France at the ceremony to honor the victims of the attack against the Bardo Museum on March 18, 2015, and will convey a message of solidarity and friendship to the Tunisian people.

Jean-Marc Ayrault will be received by President of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi, Prime Minister Habib Essid, the speaker of Tunisia's Parliament, Mohamed Ennaceur, and his counterpart, Khemaies Jhinaoui. He will discuss our bilateral cooperation in all areas and our primary objectives with respect to youth, employment and development in disadvantaged regions.

During this visit, Jean-Marc Ayrault will inaugurate the new Institut français in Tunis, a meeting place for cultural exchanges between our two countries.



Humanitarian action – Meeting between André Vallini and the president of the French Red Cross Fund (Paris - March 15, 2016)

André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, met with Professor Jean-François Mattéi, President of the French Red Cross Fund, on March 15, 2016.

They took stock of the fund's work to support research into humanitarian action and the efforts that must be continued in order to ensure that the research leads to tangible improvements for humanitarian workers on the ground.

André Vallini paid tribute to the work being carried out to that end by Professor Mattéi and his teams. He underscored the importance of recognizing the contribution of French-speaking actors to the global discussion about humanitarian action, notably in the run-up to the World Humanitarian Summit due to take place in Istanbul in May. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, a partner of the French Red Cross Fund contributes to this discussion by supporting French-language research seminars on humanitarian issues. The next meeting of this kind will take place in Madagascar in November 2016, in follow-up to the Francophonie Summit.



Balkans – Meeting between Harlem Désir, minister of state for European affairs, and organizers of a regional youth office project (March 16, 2016)

Harlem Désir, minister of state for European affairs, will see representatives of the working group on the Balkan regional office to foster youth cooperation during their meeting in Paris on March 15-17.

At this meeting, the participants will present the project for a Balkan youth office developed by youth representatives and the authorities of Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia, with support from the Franco-German Youth Office.

France supports this initiative, which is helping to bring together young people in the Balkans.



Israel / Palestinian Territories – Settlements

France is highly concerned by the Israeli authorities' decision to proceed with the appropriation of an additional 234 hectares of land in the West Bank for settlement purposes. A similar measure affecting 150 hectares had already been decided on in the same part of the Jordan Valley near Jericho this past January.

The settlements represent a violation of international law and are inconsistent with the Israeli authorities' commitments to a two-State solution. Promoting this solution is the goal that guides France's diplomatic efforts.



Libya

With regard to Libya, what's the status, in Brussels, of the process for imposing sanctions on those who are blocking a political solution?

During the Foreign Affairs Council of March 14, Jean-Marc Ayrault emphasized to his European counterparts the need to impose sanctions on those who are blocking the establishment of the new unity government established under the Skhirat agreement of December 2015 and backed by the vast majority of Libyan parliamentarians.

The decision in principle was taken on March 15. The process for implementing targeted sanctions has now begun in Brussels, as we wished.


France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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