The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - April 19, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Greece – Jean-Marc Ayrault's and Harlem Désir's meetings with Nikos Kotzias, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Paris - April 19-20, 2016)

◢  European Union ⁄ Trade – Matthias Fekl's meetings with Commissioner Cécilia Malmström and with the U.S. ambassador to the WTO (Paris - April 19, 2016)

◢  Ethiopia – Deadly attack (April 14, 2016)

◢  Gambia – Demonstrations (April 14-16, 2016)

◢  Congo – Situation in the Pool region (April 19, 2016)

◢  Soft power ⁄ Digital sphere – 4M Paris Meetings (April 20-21, 2016)

 
Greece – Jean-Marc Ayrault's and Harlem Désir's meetings with Nikos Kotzias, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Paris - April 19-20, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive his Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias, tomorrow.

The ministers will discuss all aspects of our bilateral relations, in the spirit of the strategic partnership for the future established during President Hollande's visit to Greece in October 2015. They will take stock of the migration crisis, the situation in Greece and the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement of March 18. The discussions will also focus on the main international issues, notably Syria, Libya, and Ukraine.

Nikos Kotzias will also discuss these issues with Harlem Désir, who travelled to Greece from April 8 to 9 together with five of his European counterparts to meet with the Greek authorities, representatives of international organizations as well as civil society, and to visit a refugee camp.



European Union ⁄ Trade – Matthias Fekl's meetings with Commissioner Cécilia Malmström and with the U.S. ambassador to the WTO (Paris - April 19, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will receive Cécilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, on April 19.

They will talk about France's trade policy priorities. They will discuss the state of progress of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between the EU and Canada and the negotiation of an agreement with Mercosur. They will also take stock of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Matthias Fekl will then receive Michael Punke, U.S. Ambassador to the WTO, in order to take stock of the negotiations being carried out within this organization.



Ethiopia – Deadly attack (April 14, 2016)

France condemns the attack carried out on April 14 by fighters from South Sudan against civilian populations in Ethiopia's Gambella region. The Ethiopian authorities indicated that the attack killed more than 200 people and that around a hundred children had been kidnapped. This violence is unacceptable.

In these tragic circumstances, we express our solidarity with the Ethiopian government and people.



Gambia – Demonstrations (April 14-16, 2016)

France condemns the violent crackdown against demonstrators on April 14 and 16, 2016, notably in Serrekunda, as well as the arbitrary arrests of members of the opposition party, the UDP (United Democratic Party).

We are concerned by reports that several people have died, including some in detention, and are closely monitoring developments in the situation.

France reaffirms that the right to demonstrate is a fundamental right.



Congo – Situation in the Pool region (April 19, 2016)

France is following with concern the situation in the Republic of Congo, notably in the Pool region, where there have been reports of military activities that may have affected the civilian populations.

France would like full light to be shed on these developments—in full transparency—notably through the appropriate organizations (UN, ICRC) and for humanitarian access to be guaranteed. In any event, human rights, notably the rights of civilian populations, must be respected.



Soft power ⁄ Digital sphere – 4M Paris Meetings (April 20-21, 2016)

More than 150 online media representatives from nearly 40 countries of Africa, the Arab world, the Caucasus and Southeast Asia will attend the 2016 4M Paris Meetings on April 20-21.

Organized since 2011 by CFI (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development's agency for media cooperation), the Quai d'Orsay and Paris City Hall, these meetings are designed to foster the development of more reliable and independent online information sources and to allow young participants in the digital media revolution to discuss the latest innovations. This year's edition is part of a "Grand Tour" that includes some 40 stops around France that showcase the exceptional cultural dynamism of our provinces.

Meetings can be followed on the Foreign Ministry's and CFI's social networks. Interviews with influential French-speaking, English-speaking and Arabic-speaking bloggers will be posted on Twitter.

For more information on the 4M Paris Meetings, go to: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/partenariats-et-societe-civile/article/rencontres-4m-paris-medias-et-societe-civile-un-engagement-commun-20-et-21-04

For more information on the Grand Tour, go to: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/diplomatie-culturelle/les-actualites-et-evenements-de-la-diplomatie-culturelle-en-2016/le-grand-tour-un-agenda-culturel-ambitieux/article/le-grand-tour-un-agenda-culturel-ambitieux-pour-valoriser-l-attractivite-de-la


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