The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - July 8, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Lebanon – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault (July 11-12, 2016)

◢  Quai d'Orsay / Ambassadors' Week 2016 – Opening of registration for the public open day (August 30, 2016)

◢  Germany – Visit by Harlem Désir (Berlin - July 11, 2016)

◢  Trade – Matthias Fekl attending G20 trade ministers meeting (Shanghai - July 9-10, 2016)

◢  Syria – Call to abide by cessation of hostilities

◢  Iraq – Attack on a Shiite mausoleum (July 7, 2016)

 
Lebanon – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault (July 11-12, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will visit Lebanon from July 11 to 12. Three months after President Hollande's visit, the goal of this trip is to express France's full support for this friendly country.

Jean-Marc Ayrault will discuss, with all of the political leaders that he is meeting, France's support for Lebanon, which is faced with the challenges posed by persistent institutional deadlock and the consequences of the war in Syria.

Jean-Marc Ayrault will visit the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL); France is one of the largest troop-contributing countries to this force.

He will also reaffirm our commitment to the refugee issue.



Quai d'Orsay / Ambassadors' Week 2016 – Opening of registration for the public open day (August 30, 2016)

On the initiative of Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Ambassadors' Week will be devoted to the theme "Diplomacy, territories and Europe" this year. It will take place from August 29 to September 2 at the Ministerial Conference Center (27, rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris).

For the second year in a row, the "Je rencontre un ambassadeur" (meetings between ambassadors and the public) event will provide the public with an opportunity to meet with ambassadors based all over the world to discuss their experiences and major foreign policy issues. Jean-Marc Ayrault will take part in the event and will co-chair, together with Lilian Thuram, Chair of the "Fondation Lilian Thuram – Education contre le racism" (The Lilian Thuram Foundation – Education Against Racism), the selection board for the "If I were the minister of foreign affairs..." public speaking contest.

Almost 2,800 people took part in this event last year. This year it will be held on August 30 from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm and will be open to the public; advanced registration is required.

For the first time, the public will be able to communicate online with the ambassadors and key figures attending the event, thanks to regular chats, firsthand accounts, interviews and behind-the-scenes reports of this event on social media.

For more information and to register for the "Je rencontre un ambassadeur" event, please visit http://diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/evenements-et-actualites-du-ministere/conference-des-ambassadeurs/semaine-des-ambassadeurs-2016/article/le-programme-de-la-semaine-des-amabssadeurs-2016.

Registration for the public speaking contest will be open until July 15.



Germany – Visit by Harlem Désir (Berlin - July 11, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will visit Berlin on July 11 in order to take part in a meeting with his German counterpart, Michael Roth, and Ann Linde, Swedish Minister for EU Affairs and Trade.

They will take stock of key current European issues: the consequences of the British referendum, the response to the migration crisis, and support for growth, investment and employment.

During this visit, Harlem Désir will also meet with Uwe Corsepius, EU Affairs Advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.



Trade – Matthias Fekl attending G20 trade ministers meeting (Shanghai - July 9-10, 2016)

Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad Matthias Fekl will attend the G20 trade ministers meeting in Shanghai on July 9 and 10.

He will underscore the importance of reviving multilateral trade negotiations and will push for the adoption of common rules guaranteeing fair competition. He will call for concluding negotiations on environmental goods, which will help redirect trade and production toward clean technologies.

During his trip, Mr. Fekl will meet with Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng.



Syria – Call to abide by cessation of hostilities

France condemns the offensive by the Syrian regime and its backers aimed at surrounding the part of Aleppo held by the opposition.

This offensive violates the cessation of hostilities enacted by Security Council resolution 2268 as well as the "regime of calm" announced by the Syrian regime for Eid-al-Fitr. It shows that once again, the regime and its backers are engaged in a dangerous—and above all military—spiral of violence, with ever larger consequences in terms of casualties, displaced persons and refugees.

France solemnly calls for:

  • respect for the cessation of hostilities and an immediate halt to the bombing of civilians;
  • free and unfettered humanitarian access;
  • a lasting political solution to bring an end to the conflict. That is the aim of resolution 2254, adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council. It is also the aim of the statement by the Syrian International Support Group on May 17, which calls for the establishment of a transition government by August 1. The regime's backers, and first and foremost Russia, have pledged to support that deadline.



Iraq – Attack on a Shiite mausoleum (July 7, 2016)

France condemns the attack on a Shiite mausoleum north of Baghdad, just a few days after the terrible attack on July 3 that plunged Iraq into mourning.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families. France expresses its solidarity with the Iraqi people and authorities at this difficult time.

We reaffirm our determination to combat terrorism and to support Iraq in its efforts to achieve stability and national reconciliation.


France in the
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