The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - September 19, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Russia – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Sergey Lavrov (September 17, 2016)

◢  European Union – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Michael O'Flaherty, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (Paris - September 19, 2016)

◢  Democratic Republic of Congo – Election timetable

◢  Cape Verde – Death of former President Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro (September 16, 2016)

◢  India

◢  UN General Assembly – Refugees

Russia – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Sergey Lavrov (September 17, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, met on Saturday, September 17 with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. The two ministers took stock of the situation in eastern Ukraine, following the visit by the French and German ministers to the region a few days ago. The minister highlighted the need to implement the Minsk agreements, starting with a comprehensive ceasefire accompanied by an effective withdrawal of arms and progress on the political front.

The two ministers also discussed the situation in Syria. Mr. Ayrault underscored the need to uphold the cessation of hostilities and ensure full access by the populations to the humanitarian assistance they need, especially in Aleppo. This will make it possible to establish the conditions needed to resume the political negotiations on a transition, on the basis of UNSCR 2254.

Lastly, in preparation for the opening of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly next week in New York, in which both ministers will take part, they discussed the Middle East peace process and the international community's efforts to relaunch it.

European Union – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Michael O'Flaherty, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (Paris - September 19, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, today received Michael O'Flaherty, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.

The meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of the agency's activities and the human rights situation within the EU.

Democratic Republic of Congo – Election timetable

France regrets the fact that the Democratic Republic of Congo did not announce the presidential election within the constitutional deadline.

France calls on the Congolese authorities to accelerate the transparent preparations for the presidential election and therefore allow normal institutional life to return to normal. The timetable must be made available as swiftly as possible and the elections held with as little delay as possible. It urges all parties to exercise restraint and calls on the authorities to respect public freedoms, especially the right to demonstrate peacefully. As previously underscored by the European Council in May, it is incumbent on all of the stakeholders involved to ensure this is the case.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has made progress that has been recognized by all over the last few years. The current political and institutional uncertainties jeopardize the sustainability of this progress and the country’s stability. France would like all actors to operate in accordance with UNSCR 2277 and to commit, through consensual dialogue, to finding a solution that will respect the aspirations of the Congolese people to elect their representatives.

Cape Verde – Death of former President Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro (September 16, 2016)

France was saddened to learn of the death of former President of Cape Verde Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro on September 16.

It extends its condolences to his family as well as the people of Cape Verde.

He was the first president to be elected by popular vote in 1991 and successfully ensured his country's transition toward democracy during his terms in office.


Do you have any response to yesterday's attack against Indian soldiers?

On Sunday, we condemned the appalling attack carried out yesterday in Uri.

Following the attack in Pathankot at the beginning of the year, this attack reaffirms that India, like France is a victim of terrorism. More than ever, we stand shoulder to shoulder with India, which is a strategic partner of France, in order to combat this scourge.

As President Hollande underscored during his last visit to Delhi, all countries must effectively combat terrorism emanating from their territory or from territories under their control. We call for decisive action, in accordance with international law, to combat the terrorist groups targeting India, especially Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Hizbul Mujahideen.

Nothing can justify terrorism, which must be defeated everywhere with the same determination.

UN General Assembly – Refugees

Will France take part in the meetings on refugees being held this week in New York?

Jean-Marc Ayrault is attending today's high-level meeting on refugees and migrants hosted by Peter Thomson, president of the UN General Assembly, and attended by Ban Ki-moon.

Tomorrow, he will accompany President Hollande to the Leaders' Summit on Refugees hosted by President Obama.

In line with the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, these two meetings represent an important step in the global commitment to the refugee and migrant issue. France will present its efforts, particularly in terms of taking in refugees and migrants. It will call on the international community to formulate a strong, coordinated, comprehensive response to this challenge, and will encourage a fairer sharing of responsibilities at the global level in the support and welcome of refugees.

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