The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - May 31, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Argentina – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart Susana Malcorra (Paris - May 31, 2016)

◢  Czech Republic – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart Lubomír Zaorálek (Paris - June 1, 2016)

◢  Development – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and ONE (Paris - June 1, 2016)

◢  Tunisia – Visit by Matthias Fekl (June 1-2, 2016)

◢  Development – Meetings between André Vallini and the CIRAD, IRD and CGIAR (May 30-31, 2016)

◢  UN – French presidency of the Security Council (June 2016)

◢  Chad – Trial of former Chadian President Hissène Habré

◢  Bahrain – Sentence handed down by appeals court to the opposition leader (May 30, 2016)

◢  Syria – Aerial bombings (May 30, 2016)

 
Argentina – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart Susana Malcorra (Paris - May 31, 2016)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault will meet today with his Argentinian counterpart, Susana Malcorra, for a working lunch.

Three months after the Argentinian President's visit, they will review the new impetus given to our bilateral relationship, particularly in the economic arena. Our joint road map opens new areas for cooperation in such fields as tourism, transportation, energy, space, agriculture and communication technologies.

Mr. Ayrault will also discuss international issues, particularly the ongoing normalization of Argentina's relations with the financial community. The Argentinian government's resolution of the so-called vulture funds case, is a key step. The ministers will also discuss our cooperation on human rights, particularly on protecting individuals from forced disappearances.



Czech Republic – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart Lubomír Zaorálek (Paris - June 1, 2016)

On June 1, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault will welcome Lubomír Zaorálek, his Czech counterpart, for a working lunch.

The ministers will review major issues of European and international interest, as well as the expansion of our bilateral relationship, particularly in the economic arena.

This meeting will underscore the excellent relationship between France and the Czech Republic, which have a strategic partnership, along with the constructive role played by the Czech presidency of the Visegrád Group (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia) from July 2015 to July 2016, at a time when the EU had to face many challenges.



Development – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and ONE (Paris - June 1, 2016)

On June 1, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault will meet with several youth ambassadors from the NGO ONE, during its annual One Young World Summit in Paris (May 30 – June 2). For several years now, we have had a relationship with ONE, which combats poverty and disease, particularly in Africa.

They will discuss global health, help for vulnerable populations, the situation of young girls in Africa, and development challenges.

Mr. Ayrault will emphasize that development challenges are central to our diplomatic effort and will underscore the importance of our conversations with civil society and young people.



Tunisia – Visit by Matthias Fekl (June 1-2, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, minister of state for foreign trade, the promotion of tourism, and French nationals abroad, will travel to Tunis on June 1 to meet with Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui, Development, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Yassine Brahim, and Tourism Minister Salma Rekik.

They will discuss every aspect of our bilateral economic relationship. This visit will also help lay the groundwork for the next Franco-Tunisian High-Level Council slated for the second half of 2016 in Tunis, under the auspices of the two Prime Ministers. Mr. Fekl will reiterate our support for Tunisia, as Jean-Marc Ayrault did in March.

He will also meet with the French community in Tunisia, as well as French foreign trade advisors and members of the French-Tunisian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.



Development – Meetings between André Vallini and the CIRAD, IRD and CGIAR (May 30-31, 2016)

On May 30 and 31, André Vallini, minister of state for development and Francophonie, will visit the headquarters of internationally renowned French research institutes and centers to solidify and expand discussions between them and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

After visiting the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) in Marseille on May 30, he will travel to Montpellier on May 31 to visit the Centre de Coopé ;ration Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le D&veloppement (CIRAD). While in that city, he will also visit the Groupe Consultatif pour la Recherche Agricole Internationale (CGIAR), a global partnership for research in the service of development.

These centers play a vital role in enhancing the effectiveness of France's cooperation with the countries of the Global South, particularly with respect to fighting poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition.



UN – French presidency of the Security Council (June 2016)

On June 1, France assumes the presidency of the UN Security Council. We hail the work by the previous Egyptian Presidency, which concludes on May 31.

Our three priorities will be:

  • protecting civilians in peacekeeping operations. On June 10, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault will chair a ministerial meeting at the Security Council on this issue; it will also be attended by the UN secretary-general and the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. A meeting will also be held in early June on sexual violence in conflicts.
  • Africa, with the renewal of the mandate of peacekeeping missions in Mali (MINUSMA), Sudan/Darfur (UNAMID), and the authorization of the African Union operation in Somalia (AMISOM). The Security Council will also closely monitor the situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, and South Sudan.
  • North Africa and the Middle East, with the renewal of the mandate of the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and careful monitoring of the crises in Syria, Libya, Yemen and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With respect to the latter, France is introducing a Middle East peace initiative. In late June, the Security Council will also receive the UN secretary-general's report on the implementation of Resolution 1701 on Lebanon.

The French presidency will also work on election deadlines within the UN system, continuing the process to designate the new secretary-general, the election of the future president of the UN General Assembly, and the election of new non-permanent members to the Security Council for 2017-2018.

To follow the French presidency, go to:
- the websites: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr and www.franceonu.org
- Twitter: #FrPrez.



Chad – Trial of former Chadian President Hissène Habré

France welcomes the conclusion of the trial in Senegal of former Chadian President Hissène Habré - a remarkable step forward in the fight against impunity.

This trial, which was conducted in an effective manner, with due respect for the rights of the defense and those of the victims, marks an important milestone for the international criminal justice system, especially in relation to Africa and its Extraordinary African Chambers. This is a prime example of how these courts can complement the essential work carried out by the International Criminal Court. France pays tribute to the role played by the African Union, to the personal commitment of President Macky Sall of Senegal and commends the very substantial support of the Chadian authorities for these courts.

We reaffirm our attachment to impartial justice and the fight against impunity everywhere. These are key to promoting human rights as well as helping to prevent conflicts and restoring peace in the countries affected by mass atrocities. France is fully mobilized to achieve these aims.



Bahrain – Sentence handed down by appeals court to the opposition leader (May 30, 2016)

France notes with concern the nine-year prison sentence handed down by an appeals court to Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq. It followed his trial closely.

We reaffirm our attachment to the freedom of opinion and expression, as well as to the right to a fair and equitable trial, principles that form the basis of all aspects of democratic politics.



Syria – Aerial bombings (May 30, 2016)

France condemns the continued bombing by the regime and its allies, in violation of the commitments undertaken in Vienna on May 17 aimed at restoring the truce.

Several air raids were carried out on May 30 against the town of Idlib and in Aleppo Province, killing more than 40 civilians and partially destroying two hospitals.

France calls for compliance with the truce and the provision of humanitarian access wherever necessary. As reaffirmed by Staffan de Mistura, this is essential in order to allow the resumption of talks between the regime and the opposition.


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