The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 31, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Economic diplomacy – Meeting between Mr. Ayrault and Mr. Brégier, president and CEO of Airbus (March 31, 2016)

◢  Human rights – Cities for Freedom initiative (March 31, 2016)

◢  Russia – Terrorist attack on police in Dagestan (March 30, 2016)

◢  Niger – Attack on Nigerien soldiers (March 30, 2016)

◢  Cyprus ⁄ United Nations – Appointment of Elizabeth Spehar as the UN Secretary-Generalís special representative (March 30, 2016)

 
Economic diplomacy – Meeting between Mr. Ayrault and Mr. Brégier, president and CEO of Airbus (March 31, 2016)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault received the president and CEO of Airbus today. This was their first meeting since Mr. Ayraultís appointment, and he wanted to underscore the importance of the civil aviation sector.

With revenues of nearly 46 billion euros and more than 50,000 salaried workers, 40% of whom are in France, Airbus is a French and European industrial flagship. In 2015 it broke a new annual record, with 635 aircraft deliveries. This made civil aviation largely responsible for the momentum seen in French exports last year, generating a surplus of more than 22 billion euros. No other sector in France generated as large a surplus.

Mr. Ayrault and Mr. Brégier reviewed international economic challenges relating to the sector and discussed the role that economic diplomacy plays in supporting our businesses Ė both SMEs and large groups.



Human rights – Cities for Freedom initiative (March 31, 2016)

In partnership with the Paris City Hall, Matthias Fekl, minister of state for foreign trade, the promotion of tourism, and French nationals abroad, is welcoming the General Assembly of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) and its Cities for Freedom initiative to the Quai díOrsay.

In Paris and more than 50 cities worldwide, this network - which is celebrating its 10th anniversary Ė hosts artists, musicians, bloggers, directors, illustrators, caricaturists, and journalists. The writer Svetlana Alexievitch, who won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature and was herself hosted by the network, is this yearís assembly matron.

France supports ICORN and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to freedom of expression and creation and to the protection of human rights defenders, a top diplomatic priority for us and our embassies around the world.



Russia – Terrorist attack on police in Dagestan (March 30, 2016)

France condemns the attacks carried out in Dagestan on March 29 and 30, for which Daesh claims credit. They left one dead and two injured.

We offer our condolences to the victimís family and express our solidarity with the Russian Federation.



Niger – Attack on Nigerien soldiers (March 30, 2016)

France condemns the attack near Diffa on March 30 that killed six members of the Nigerien armed forces. It has been attributed to Boko Haram.

We offer our condolences to the victimís families and wish those injured a swift recovery.

On April 2, André Vallini, minister of state for development and Francophonie, will represent President Hollande at the inauguration of Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger. He will express Franceís complete solidarity in the fight against terrorism.



Cyprus ⁄ United Nations – Appointment of Elizabeth Spehar as the UN Secretary-Generalís special representative (March 30, 2016)

France welcomes Elizabeth Speharís appointment as the UN secretary-generalís special representative and head of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

We are delighted to work with Ms. Spehar, who brings to UNFICYP her experience working in the UN political affairs section and her knowledge of Cyprus, where she served as interim special representative in 2008. We applaud the work and dedication of her predecessor, Ms. Buttenheim, over the past six years.

France reaffirms its support for the positive climate of the negotiations conducted under the leadership of the UN secretary-generalís special advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide. The islandís reunification would send a tremendous message of hope to both communities, to the EU, and to the entire region.



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