The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - May 20, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Iran – Statement by the German, British, French and U.S. foreign ministers and Federica Mogherini (May 19, 2016)

◢  Chad – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart Moussa Faki (May 20, 2016)

◢  Disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 – Meeting with the families (May 21, 2016)

◢  European Union – Jean-Marc Ayrault's participation in the Foreign Affairs Council meeting (May 23, 2016)

◢  Tourism / Gastronomy – Matthias Fekl's visit to Charente (May 20, 2016)

◢  South Africa – Bilateral consultations (May 20, 2016)

◢  Syria – Air raids in the Homs region (May 19, 2016)

◢  Venezuela – Deterioration of the situation (May 20, 2016)

 
Iran – Statement by the German, British, French and U.S. foreign ministers and Federica Mogherini (May 19, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, met with his German, British, French and U.S. counterparts, as well as the high representative of the EU on May 19 in Brussels to discuss the implementation of the Vienna agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.

On this occasion, they adopted a statement reaffirming our joint commitment to supporting the return of European companies and banks to Iran within the framework established by the Vienna agreement.

For more information, please visit http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/iran/events/article/statement-by-france-germany-united-kingdom-united-states-and-the-high.



Chad – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart Moussa Faki (May 20, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, received Moussa Faki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chad, this morning.

The minister and his counterpart discussed the situation in Chad and relations between our two countries. They discussed regional issues, given that Chad holds the presidency of the African Union.

Jean-Marc Ayrault extended France's condolences to Moussa Faki following the death of five Chadian soldiers serving with MINUSMA, who were killed during the night of May 18 to 19. He paid tribute to Chad's commitment within the UN force and the role played by the peacekeepers and the Malian authorities in maintaining the stability of Mali.



Disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 – Meeting with the families (May 21, 2016)

On Saturday, May 21 at 9:30 am at the Quai d'Orsay, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will chair an information session with the families of the passengers and crew of flight MS804, in the presence of Juliette Meadel, Minister of State for Victim Assistance and Alain Vidalies, Minister of State for Transport. Ehab Badawy, Ambassador of Egypt to France, will attend the meeting.

The minister will provide an update on the search and the action being taken by France together with the Greek and Egyptian authorities.

Representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Paris public prosecutor's office, the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (Investigation and Analysis Office), victim support associations as well as EgyptAir representatives will take part in this meeting and will be able to respond to the families' questions.

The ambassadors of countries whose citizens were among the passengers and crew of flight MS804 have been invited to this meeting, which is not open to the press.



European Union – Jean-Marc Ayrault's participation in the Foreign Affairs Council meeting (May 23, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will take part in the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on May 23 in Brussels, which will be chaired by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Foreign Affairs Council meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the Eastern Partnership, during which the ministers will evaluate, together with their counterparts from the EU's six eastern partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), the implementation of the Eastern Partnership since the summit in Riga from May 21 to 22, 2015.

The Foreign Affairs Council meeting will address the following points:

  • Libya: Discussions will focus on the extension of the EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia mandate to develop and train the Libyan Coast Guard and enable the mission to help ensure compliance with the arms embargo established by the UN Security Council;
  • Syria and Iraq: The ministers will discuss the updating of the European strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the Daesh threat;
  • Refugees and migration: The ministers will review the follow-up to the EU-Africa Summit in Valletta on November 11 and 12, 2015, and the discussions underway with third countries regarding the refugees and migrants, notably with respect to their return and readmission;
  • EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy: The ministers will debate its main guidelines;
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: The ministers will discuss the situation on the ground and EU action.



Tourism / Gastronomy – Matthias Fekl's visit to Charente (May 20, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism, and French Nationals Abroad, will pay an official visit to the Charente department on May 20. There he will meet with cognac professionals, with whom he will discuss challenges relating to exports and the development of wine tourism.

Cognac, nearly all of which is produced for export, is doing very well internationally. Accounting for 2.5 billion euros in exports in 2015, cognac represents nearly 20% of France's exports of alcoholic beverages – almost as much as champagne (2.7 billion euros) and more than Bordeaux wines (1.8 billion euros). These results make France the world's leading exporter of spirits distilled from wine, with a market share of 53%.

The protection of the "cognac" appellation remains a priority for France at the European Commission's free-trade negotiations, although the designation is still being used fraudulently in several countries. The fight against tariff and non-tariff barriers must also serve the expansion of this sector.



South Africa – Bilateral consultations (May 20, 2016)

Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Christian Masset is in Pretoria today consulting with Jerry Matthews Matjila, Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa. These annual meetings of the Forum for Political Dialogue are part of the strategic partnership between France and South Africa.

Discussions will focus on preparations for President Zuma's state visit to France and on strengthening French-South African bilateral relations, particularly in science and technology, energy and transportation, education and health, and culture and regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean.

The secretary-general and his South African counterpart will also discuss major issues of concern in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, as well as global topics of common interest such as the fight against climate disruption in the wake of the Paris Conference, support for UN efforts relating to health, and counterterrorism and illicit financial flows, on which France and South African cooperate closely to ensure effective international action.



Syria – Air raids in the Homs region (May 19, 2016)

France condemns the air raids conducted by the Syrian regime, in which barrel bombs were used. Since May 18, they have taken the lives of at least 34 civilians, including 15 children, in the province of Homs.

The International Syria Support Group pledged once again on May 17 to stop these massive violations of international humanitarian law. All must mobilize their efforts to ensure that the commitments taken on this occasion are respected, beginning with supporters of the regime.



Venezuela – Deterioration of the situation (May 20, 2016)

As the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy noted, we are deeply concerned by the establishment of the state of emergency and by the deterioration of the situation in Venezuela.

In the name of the friendship between our two countries, we encourage the Venezuelan government and Parliament to find a solution to the crisis affecting the Venezuelan people that respects their respective constitutional prerogatives.

France urges everyone to eschew violence, avoid any infringement of personal rights, and respect the rule of law.


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