The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - April 25, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Armenia ⁄ Azerbaijan – Visit by Harlem Désir (April 25-26, 2016)

◢  Syria – Threats to truce

◢  Health – World Malaria Day (April 25, 2016)

◢  Democratic Republic of Congo – Death of Papa Wemba (April 24, 2016)

◢  Economic diplomacy ⁄ U.S. – Inauguration of French Innovation Week in Chicago (April 25, 2016)

Armenia ⁄ Azerbaijan – Visit by Harlem Désir (April 25-26, 2016)

Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir will be in Armenia and Azerbaijan on April 25 and 26.

In Yerevan, he will be welcomed by President Serzh Sargsyan and will meet with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. He will also visit the Genocide Memorial.

In Baku, Mr. Désir will be welcomed by President Ilham Aliyev and will meet with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Education Minister Mikayil Jabbarov. He will also attend the inauguration ceremony for the 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations.

With his interlocutors in both capitals, Mr. Désir will discuss the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, underscoring France’s commitment to the cease-fire and to the resumption of the negotiations mediated by the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group to achieve a peaceful and lasting settlement of that conflict. He will also review the status of the two countries’ relations with the EU, as well as our bilateral relationship.

Syria – Threats to truce

France condemns the intensification of attacks by the regime in recent days which have resulted in dozens of casualties, particularly in Aleppo. The regime is still refusing to authorize humanitarian access to the besieged areas.

These clear violations of international humanitarian law, whose effect is to sabotage the negotiation process and transition prospects, are unacceptable. France stresses that there will be no lasting peace without a political transition. It is therefore urgent for the truce violations to stop and for negotiations to resume in order to implement UN Security Council resolution 2254.

In this regard, we back the efforts by UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura, who has been working tirelessly to conduct these difficult negotiations. He enjoys our full support.

Finally, France calls on the international community to renew its efforts to end the violence and proceed with negotiations aimed at achieving a political solution.

Health – World Malaria Day (April 25, 2016)

Worldwide, malaria is on the decline. Remarkable progress has been made, particularly in Africa, where we have seen a 54% drop in the mortality rate since the last decade. But considerable challenges remain, including resistance to certain antimalarial drugs and the impact of climate disruption, which could foster the spread or resurgence of the disease in certain areas.

Accounting for 16 % of global efforts, France is the world’s second-largest contributor to the fight against malaria, through multilateral contributions and bilateral action. We are working with the Global Fund to prevent and treat pandemics and strengthen healthcare systems. We are working to speed up the marketing of innovative products through UNITAID programs (rapid diagnostic testing, treatment of severe malaria, seasonal chemoprophylaxis). France also supports research, particularly work by the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) and the Pasteur Institute.

Democratic Republic of Congo – Death of Papa Wemba (April 24, 2016)

France pays its respects to the great Congolese artist Papa Wemba, who died onstage on April 24 during a concert in Côte d'Ivoire.

Papa Wemba had a great impact on Congolese culture by reinventing the rumba, which—thanks to him—became a universal artistic and musical phenomenon.

With the establishment of the Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elégantes (Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People), he also created a major social phenomenon.

We offer our condolences to his loved ones and share the grief of the Congolese people.

Economic diplomacy ⁄ U.S. – Inauguration of French Innovation Week in Chicago (April 25, 2016)

French Innovation Week kicks off on April 25 in Chicago. Based at the French Consulate-general and bringing together French partners (including the French-American Chamber of Congress, the Alliance Française, Business France, and the Lycée Français) and many American partners, it is designed to promote French research and innovation in America’s third-largest city.

A series of exhibits, round tables and lectures will showcase the varied and complementary aspects of innovation in France in such areas as 3D and virtual reality, biodiversity, energy efficiency, organic wines and research on aging. Top-level French companies (such as Orange, Sigfox and Valeo) will present their cutting-edge technologies in the area of connected objects and the Internet of things, in partnership with the major Chicago entrepreneurial hub 1871. On this occasion, a memorandum of understanding will be signed by Paris&Co, the French capital’s economic development and innovation agency, and MATTER, the Chicago-based healthcare tech incubator.

Our diplomatic network in the United States is working hard to spread the word about French innovation, help French companies expand internationally, and attract U.S. startups to France.

For more information, go to

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