The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - July 20, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Coalition against Daesh – Jean-Marc Ayrault's participation in a meeting of foreign ministers in Washington (July 21, 2016)

◢  Uzbekistan / Economic diplomacy – Visit by M. Fekl (July 20-21, 2016)

◢  Haiti – Calling of general election (July 19, 2016)

◢  Ukraine – Killing of a journalist (July 20, 2016)

◢  Palestinian Territories

Coalition against Daesh – Jean-Marc Ayrault's participation in a meeting of foreign ministers in Washington (July 21, 2016)

M. Jean-Marc Ayrault will take part in a restricted meeting of foreign and defence ministers of the international coalition against Daesh [so-called ISIL], in Washington on 21 July. These regular meetings provide an opportunity to coordinate our global strategy more effectively.

Following the Nice attack, Jean-Marc Ayrault will stress the need to step up our efforts further to combat Daesh, as the French President has reiterated, particularly with a view to liberating Mosul and Raqqa. Daesh has already lost control of many territories in Iraq and Syria, under the impact of the coalition's actions. The Minister will also recall that France supports the national unity government in Libya, and will call for all the Libyan forces to mobilize alongside it in the fight against Daesh.

The ministers will discuss how to contain Daesh's expansion into other fragile regions and protect our territories against the threat it represents.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to recall the need to support long-term political solutions in order to contain terrorism in a lasting way. This entails:

  • in Syria, a political transition in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions;
  • in Iraq, progress on national reconciliation;
  • in Libya, the unification of all forces under the authority of the national unity government.

Uzbekistan / Economic diplomacy – Visit by M. Fekl (July 20-21, 2016)

M. Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, is travelling to Uzbekistan on 20 and 21 July with a delegation of about 20 French businesses from the sectors of agriculture, energy and the environment, transport, construction, health, and information technology.

Together with Mr Ganiev, Uzbek Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, he will co-chair the sixth session of the joint commission on economic and trade cooperation, in Tashkent. With Mr Azimov, Minister of Finance, and Ms Saidova, Minister of Economy, M. Fekl will review the development of our bilateral trade relations.

M. Fekl will meet Uzbekistan's French community and hold talks with local representatives of the business community.

Haiti – Calling of general election (July 19, 2016)

The interim president, Jocelerme Privert, announced on 19 July that the first round of the general election in Haiti will be held on 9 October 2016.

France welcomes this decision. It recalls that all Haitian citizens must be able to make their choice in free and transparent elections organized by the Haitians themselves.

Only institutions resulting from the election will be capable of taking up the economic and social challenges Haiti is facing.

Ukraine – Killing of a journalist (July 20, 2016)

We condemn the killing in Kiev of Mr Pavel Sheremet, a journalist from the investigative newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.

The murder of this journalist, recognized for his professionalism, is very worrying. We call on the authorities to shed full light on his death.

France recalls its commitment to freedom of expression and freedom of the press throughout the world.

Palestinian Territories

Q. - In Palestine, Hamas has made it known that it intends, this time, to take part in the local elections scheduled for October. Is Paris in favour of Hamas taking part in this ballot or do you still deem it a "terrorist" organization? And what's your reaction to the information circulating on manoeuvres (from the United Arab Emirates in particular) aimed at "ousting" Mahmoud Abbas to replace him with, for example, Mohammed Dahlan?

France supports the local elections being organized simultaneously in the West Bank and Gaza, which is an encouraging outlook for Palestinian democracy. The ballot must take place under free, impartial conditions. Hamas is included on the list of organizations recognized by the European Union as terrorist.

As Jean-Marc Ayrault said on 3 June, "Hamas must take the first step and accept the framework set by the international community, namely recognition of the State of Israel and the agreements reached, and the renunciation of violence".

As regards your second question, it isn't for us to comment on rumours. France supports the legitimate Palestinian authorities, in which any change will have to come about through the democratic functioning of the institutions.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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