The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - May 19, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 – Reminder of the statement issued by Jean-Marc Ayrault (May 19, 2016)

◢  Disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Egyptian counterpart (May 19, 2016)

◢  Azerbaijan – Jean-Marc Ayrault’s and Harlem Désirís meetings with Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs (May 19, 2016)

◢  NATO – Jean-Marc Ayrault’s participation in the Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting (Brussels - May 19, 2016)

◢  United Arab Emirates – Meeting between the minister and Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Paris - May 20, 2016)

◢  Sri Lanka – Landslide (May 17, 2016)

◢  Nigeria – Release of a schoolgirl kidnapped in Chibok (May 19, 2016)

◢  Culture ⁄ Nigeria – Return of a Nok statuette (Abuja - May 18, 2016)

◢  Syria

◢  Iran

 
Disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 – Reminder of the statement issued by Jean-Marc Ayrault (May 19, 2016)

Following the disappearance of the EgyptAir flight between Paris and Cairo, I have instructed a crisis cell to be opened at the Foreign Ministry and the following hotline number to be set up: +33 (0)1 43 17 55 95.

The Ministry’s teams and our embassy in Cairo are fully mobilized to obtain any information on the disappearance.

I share the anxiety of the passengers’ families



Disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Egyptian counterpart (May 19, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, spoke on the telephone to Sameh Shukri, his Egyptian counterpart, about the disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804, which was flying from Paris to Cairo.

Jean-Marc Ayrault expressed France’s solidarity with Egypt in this terrible ordeal, which also involves French nationals. The two ministers stressed the need for close coordination between the two countries when it comes to providing assistance to the passengers’ families and seeking the causes of the disappearance.

The two ministers will remain in contact in the coming hours and have agreed to talk to each other again over the course of the day.



Azerbaijan – Jean-Marc Ayrault’s and Harlem Désirís meetings with Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs (May 19, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, this morning received Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, who also met with Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs.

Mr. Ayrault, Mr. Désir and Mr. Mammadyarov principally discussed the proposals put forward by the co-chairs of the Minsk Group aimed at finding a negotiated, peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, within the framework of the decisions made at the meeting in the "3+2" format, in the presence of the parties, which took place in Vienna on May 16, 2016.

They also discussed the development of relations between France and Azerbaijan, as well as between Azerbaijan and the EU.



NATO – Jean-Marc Ayrault’s participation in the Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting (Brussels - May 19, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will take part in the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brussels this morning in order to prepare for the NATO Summit in Warsaw on July 8 and 9.

The ministers will notably discuss NATO’s adaptation to current security challenges as well as its commitment to Afghanistan. They will take stock, together with the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, of efforts to strengthen cooperation between NATO and the EU.

On the sidelines of this meeting, the minister will sign the protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of Montenegro, in accordance with the decision adopted by the NATO ministers in December 2015.



United Arab Emirates – Meeting between the minister and Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Paris - May 20, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, on May 20, 2016.

They will discuss key regional issues of common concern, notably Libya, Syria, Yemen and the situation in the Middle East, as well as major issues relating to our bilateral relations, especially the Louvre Abu Dhabi project.

The United Arab Emirates is a strategic partner of France and an ally in the fight against Daesh.



Sri Lanka – Landslide (May 17, 2016)

We were extremely shocked to learn of the death of numerous people in the landslides that occurred in the Kegalle district in Sri Lanka on May 17, 2016.

France extends its condolences to the victims’ families. We extend our support and solidarity to the Sri Lankan authorities and people at this painful time.



Nigeria – Release of a schoolgirl kidnapped in Chibok (May 19, 2016)

France shares the joy of Nigeria and the family of Amina Ali who was kidnapped in Chibok and freed from the terrorist organization Boko Haram on May 17.

Two years after the abduction of more than 200 young schoolgirls, France supports the efforts to combat terrorism and to find those who were kidnapped.

At the Regional Security Summit in Abuja on May 14, President Hollande confirmed this commitment to support the efforts of Nigeria and its neighboring countries. Their concerted action in the fight against Boko Haram is yielding results but efforts must continue, with the support of the international community.

France fervently hopes that all of the kidnapped schoolgirls will be released as swiftly as possible.



Culture ⁄ Nigeria – Return of a Nok statuette (Abuja - May 18, 2016)

In Abuja on May 18, French Ambassador to Nigeria Denys Gauer turned over two fragments of a Nok statuette that had been illegally exported to France to Yusuf Abdallah Usman, director-general of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.

In so doing, France is abiding by the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

Nok civilization statuettes, the most ancient known terra cotta sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa, are on the Red Lists of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

This is the fourth time in three years that objects seized by French customs have been returned to Nigeria in accordance with the 1970 UNESCO Convention. In 2015, customs services intercepted a total of 20,800 cultural objects.



Syria

Can you confirm the status of the Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) representation office opening at 48 rue de Rivoli in Paris next week?

With respect to Syria, the Syrian National Coalition is the French authorities’ interlocutor.

The structure you mention has no official status.



Iran

How do you respond to the holding of a cartoon contest in Tehran that includes anti-Semitic cartoons?

France condemns in the strongest possible terms any initiative that fosters racism and anti-Semitism, wherever it may be.


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