The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - September 12, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Ukraine – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault and his German counterpart (September 14-15, 2016)

◢  North Korea – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (Paris - September 12, 2016)

◢  Council of Europe – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Thorbjorn Jagland (Paris - September 12, 2016)

◢  Syria – Bombing in Idlib (September 10, 2016)

◢  Yemen – Bombing in the Sana area (September 10, 2016)

◢  Saudi Arabia – Pilgrimage to Mecca (September 12, 2016)

◢  Climate / Paris Agreement – Ratification by Laos (September 7, 2016)

◢  Pacific Islands Forum – Accession of New Caledonia and French Polynesia as full-fledged members (September 8-10, 2016)

 
Ukraine – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault and his German counterpart (September 14-15, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will conduct a joint visit to Ukraine from September 14 to 15, together with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

In Kiev, the two ministers will meet with President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman as well as the leaders of the different parliamentary groups in the Rada. They will also meet with the leaders of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in order to lend their support to ensuring compliance with the ceasefire in effect since September 1 which should ensure a return to lasting peace throughout the Donbass and allow the peace process to continue.

Six months after the last joint visit by the French and German ministers to Ukraine from February 22 to 23, this visit will provide an opportunity to discuss with the Ukrainian authorities the progress of reforms and the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, as well as to reaffirm France and Germany's determination to support the necessary changes in the country.



North Korea – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (Paris - September 12, 2016)

In the context of his discussions with several of his counterparts over the last few days, Jean-Marc Ayrault met with Fumio Kishida, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, on September 12.

The two ministers noted their convergence of views on the unacceptable nature of the North Korean nuclear test, which was strongly condemned by France and by Japan.

They expressed their shared attachment to ensuring that this new provocation will have consequences, especially at the UN Security Council. They agreed to continue to work together—in the spirit of the close partnership between France and Japan—to find the best way to ensure the international community's unity and determination with respect to this issue.



Council of Europe – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Thorbjorn Jagland (Paris - September 12, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will meet with Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe.

Mr. Ayrault and Mr. Jagland will discuss the state of human rights, the rule of law and democracy on the European continent, as well as the fight against terrorism. They will also take stock of relations between France and the Council of Europe.

Thorbjorn Jagland will also meet with Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, with whom he will open a symposium on the future of the Council of Europe at the National Assembly.



Syria – Bombing in Idlib (September 10, 2016)

France condemns the bombing targeted against Idlib on September 10, notably against a market on the eve of the Eid celebrations.

The bombing resulted in the death of at least 58 people, including women and children. The bombing, which took place the day after the agreement was reached in Geneva and on the eve of its entry into force, again demonstrates the regime's disregard for all principles of humanity and all rules of international law.

In this context, France will pay very close attention to the effective implementation of this agreement which should lead to a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access for the populations and the start of a political process that will lead to the transition provided for by UNSCR 2254.



Yemen – Bombing in the Sana area (September 10, 2016)

France condemns the bombing carried out on September 10 in the Sana area, which left at least 22 civilians dead.

We call on all parties to implement UNSCR 2216 and to respect international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions, which notably involve ending the attacks against civilians. The populations must be able to benefit from full, safe and unrestricted humanitarian access.

France reaffirms the urgent need to reach a political solution, which is the only way to prevent the security and humanitarian situation from further deteriorating and to effectively combat terrorism. We reaffirm our full support for the efforts of the UN Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.



Saudi Arabia – Pilgrimage to Mecca (September 12, 2016)

As is the case every year during the Great Pilgrimage month, our consular services in Saudi Arabia stand ready to provide assistance to our citizens, if necessary, who are traveling to Mecca.

The French Consulate-general in Jeddah is reachable at all times and is opening a branch office in Mecca from September 4 through 18.

We ask our citizens to register their trips on the Ariane portal (http://diplomatie.gouv.fr/ariane). This free service allows all French nationals who register to receive recommendations and security advisories if warranted.

For more information, consult the "pilgrimís guide" at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays/arabie-saoudite/



Climate / Paris Agreement – Ratification by Laos (September 7, 2016)

France welcomes Laos's ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement. Laos is the first ASEAN country to ratify the agreement.

France encourages all the countries that signed the agreement to ratify it promptly, notably on the occasion of the high-level event on the entry in force of the Paris Agreement to be held in New York on September 21

We are now very close to the 55-country threshold representing 55 percent of emissions, which will make it possible for the Paris Agreement to enter into force.



Pacific Islands Forum – Accession of New Caledonia and French Polynesia as full-fledged members (September 8-10, 2016)

The 47th Pacific Islands Forum, meeting in Pohnpei (Federated States of Micronesia) on September 8 to 10, granted New Caledonia and French Polynesia full member status in the Forum.

France welcomes this decision. It will help strengthen New Caledonia's and French Polynesia's partnerships with their neighbors and enhance regional cooperation, a wish expressed by the heads of state and government at the Fourth France-Oceania summit held in Paris in November 2015.



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