The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - April 29, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Syria ⁄ Regime's offensive against Aleppo – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault (April 29, 2016)

◢  African Union Commission – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (April 28, 2016)

◢  Mongolia – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Mongolian counterpart (Paris - April 29, 2016)

◢  Mali ⁄ Niger – Joint visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault and his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (May 1-3, 2016)

◢  Côte d'Ivoire – Adoption of two resolutions at the United Nations (April 28, 2016)

◢  Turkey – Sentencing of two Cumhuriyet journalists (April 28, 2016)

◢  Digital diplomacy conference – «Digital technology, a challenge at the heart of soft power» at the Quai d'Orsay (May 3, 2016)

 
Syria ⁄ Regime's offensive against Aleppo – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault (April 29, 2016)

I strongly condemn the resurgence of violence in Aleppo Province, which poses a serious threat to the maintenance of the cessation of hostilities and the continuation of the political process, as reaffirmed by Staffan de Mistura to the Security Council on April 27.

The Syrian regime's announcement on April 28 of an imminent offensive in order to retake Aleppo with the support of its allies—who did not deny this—is very troubling. This announcement comes in a context marked by the death of more than 200 civilians this week, and by serious violations of international humanitarian law. In the absence of any significant improvement in the situation on the ground, conditions will not allow for the opposition to return to Geneva.

I therefore call for the international community to mobilize its efforts in order to exert pressure on the Syrian regime to respect the truce and finally agree to enter into serious discussions with a view toward implementing a political transition, in accordance with UNSCR 2254.



African Union Commission – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (April 28, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, spoke on the telephone on April 28 with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairwoman of the African Union Commission.

Jean-Marc Ayrault underscored the importance France attaches to the African Union. They discussed current issues, notably the situations in the Sahel, Libya, the Central African Republic, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jean-Marc Ayrault and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also discussed the implementation of the decisions taken at the Paris Climate Conference on access to energy in Africa.



Mongolia – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Mongolian counterpart (Paris - April 29, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive Lundeg Purevsuren, Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs, today.

Jean-Marc Ayrault and Lundeg Purevsuren will discuss the development of French-Mongolian bilateral relations since President Elbegdorj's official visit to France in November 2015.



Mali ⁄ Niger – Joint visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault and his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (May 1-3, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, will conduct a joint visit to Mali and Niger from May 1 to 3.

This visit reflects the strong commitment of France, Germany, and beyond that, the EU, to the Sahel. The ministers will present our two countries' joint response to the challenges facing the region, both in terms of security and development.

Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be received by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali, and then by Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger.

In Bamako, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier will deliver a message of support for the peace process in the country and for the efforts of the UN (MINUSMA) and EU missions. In Gao, they will meet with the Malian and international forces operating in the region, notably the Operation Barkhane force.

Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier will also visit Niamey where France and Germany are implementing projects aimed, on the one hand, at promoting sustainable development and, on the other hand, at supporting Niger in its fight against terrorism and the management of migrant flows.



Côte d'Ivoire – Adoption of two resolutions at the United Nations (April 28, 2016)

France welcomes the unanimous adoption, on its initiative, of UNSCR 2283 and UNSCR 2284, on the lifting of all sanctions and the closure of UNOCI in June 2017 in Côte d'Ivoire.

These resolutions reflect the extent of progress made by this country on the path toward reconciliation, peace and security as well as the commitment of the population and the authorities of Côte d'Ivoire in this respect.

They recognize Côte d'Ivoire's normalization and full return to the international community and demonstrate the effectiveness of the Security Council's instruments in restoring peace and security.

France will continue to support and assist Côte d'Ivoire in its efforts to consolidate peace, democracy and its development.



Turkey – Sentencing of two Cumhuriyet journalists (April 28, 2016)

France is concerned by the two-year prison sentences handed down to two journalists from the daily Cumhuriyet, Hikmet Cetinkaya and Ceyda Karan, who had printed the front page of Charlie Hebdo in their paper on January 14 as a gesture of solidarity after the January 2015 attacks in Paris. Their attorney is appealing the sentence.

France reiterates its commitment to the freedom of expression and of the press, which are guaranteed by international texts and are an essential component of any democratic society.



Digital diplomacy conference – «Digital technology, a challenge at the heart of soft power» at the Quai d'Orsay (May 3, 2016)

On May 3, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, in partnership with Facebook, is hosting a round table on the growing role of digital technology in soft power.

Digital experts and high-level speakers from the media and cultural arenas will discuss the upheavals brought about by the rise of digital technology in institutional communication and on the relationship between civil society and institutions.

The report «Soft Power 30, a Global Ranking of Soft Power,» in which France stands out favorably in the area of digital technology, will also be presented at this round table.

Following the conference, Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal will respond live to Internet users' questions on the Ministry's Facebook page.

The discussion may be followed on social media at #DiploNum.

For more information, go to http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/diplomatie-numerique/evenements/article/le-numerique-un-enjeu-au-coeur-de-la-diplomatie-d-influence-03-mai-2016.


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