The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - April 21, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Kosovo – Joint visit by Harlem Désir and his German counterpart (April 21-22, 2016)

◢  Economic diplomacy ⁄ Tourism – Matthias Fekl’s visit to Martinique (April 21-22, 2016)

◢  Economic diplomacy ⁄ "Enhancing urban living" – Appointment of Gérard Wolf as export coordinator (April 20, 2016)

◢  Migrants – Sinking of a boat (April 13, 2016)

 
Kosovo – Joint visit by Harlem Désir and his German counterpart (April 21-22, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs and Secretary-General for French-German Cooperation, will visit Kosovo from April 21 to 22 together with his German counterpart, Michael Roth.

They will meet with Hashim Thaci, President of the Republic of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa, Prime Minister, Petrit Selimi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Bekim Collaku, Minister for European Integration.

This visit will provide an opportunity to prepare for the Western Balkans Summit, due to take place on July 4 in Paris at the invitation of President Hollande. The discussions will notably focus on developments in the country’s European integration process, the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, as well as regional cooperation.

Mr. Désir and Mr. Roth will also meet with representatives of civil society and the youth of Kosovo, in preparation for the establishment of a Balkans Youth Office proposed by the French-German Youth Office.



Economic diplomacy ⁄ Tourism – Matthias Fekl’s visit to Martinique (April 21-22, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will travel to Martinique today, continuing his mission in the French Antilles to promote tourism and support the efforts of SMEs to access international markets.

He will take part in the "Journées de l'international" ("International Days") event in Lamentin which will bring together several dozen companies keen to develop their trade with Martinique’s Caribbean neighbors.

Mr. Fekl will also bring together tourism stakeholders in Martinique with whom he will notably work on implementing the 27 measures targeting the French overseas departments adopted by the Tourism Promotion Council on July 22, 2015.



Economic diplomacy ⁄ "Enhancing urban living" – Appointment of Gérard Wolf as export coordinator (April 20, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, has appointed Gérard Wolf as export coordinator for the "enhancing urban living" sector, a priority area for France.

He will replace Michèle Pappalardo, who successfully launched the "Vivapolis" network, which brings together elected representatives, businesses, suitably qualified individuals, the state and its operators in order to focus on the topic of sustainable cities.

Gérard Wolf is experienced in managing businesses and is familiar with the business world, both in the public (EDF) and private (he is head of BRICS Access) sector. He also heads MEDEF International's Task Force on Sustainable Cities. As export coordinator, he will be responsible for coordinating and promoting the efforts of all stakeholders, notably by working to identify opportunities for the sector.

This appointment completes the renewal of the coordinators of the seven priority export areas.

For more information, please visit: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/diplomatie-economique-et-commerce-exterieur/soutenir-les-entreprises-francaises-a-l-etranger/des-familles-prioritaires-pour-soutenir-les-exportations/



Migrants – Sinking of a boat (April 13, 2016)

There have been consistent reports that several hundred people died a few days ago as they attempted to reach Europe by sea.

France expresses its deep sadness over this latest tragedy.

According to estimates by the high commissioner for refugees, with this tragedy, nearly 2,000 people have lost their lives in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year. This underscores more than ever the urgent need to implement the European decisions to combat the criminal organizations that do not hesitate to place refugees and migrants on overloaded boats in poor condition in order to maximize their profits. It is essential to prevent these boats from putting out to sea.

This tragedy also illustrates the need to address the underlying causes of population displacements, working with the countries of origin and transit. It is up to the international community to provide a strong, coordinated and comprehensive response to a challenge that concerns us all. France will do its part in this effort./.



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