The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - October 4, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Mexico – Meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault and Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas (October 4, 2016)

◢  Health – Launch of the strategy "France’s external action on challenges relating to population, rights and reproductive health 2016-2020" (Paris - October 4, 2016)

◢  Mali – Attack on MINUSMA (October 3, 2016)

◢  Ethiopia (October 2, 2016)

◢  Cape Verde – Presidential election (October 4, 2016)

◢  Climate – European Parliament approval of the Paris Agreement (October 4, 2016)

◢  Economic diplomacy – Launch of the second edition of Invest in France Month (October 4, 2016)

◢  Congo

◢  Syria

◢  Libya

 
Mexico – Meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault and Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas (October 4, 2016)

Today Jean-Marc Ayrault is welcoming his Mexican counterpart, Claudia Ruiz Massieu.

They will review and consolidate the strategic bilateral partnership that has given rise to more than 100 agreements during state visits by President Hollande to Mexico in April 2014 and by President Enrique Peña Nieto to Paris in July 2015.

On the sidelines of their meeting, the Franco-Mexican Strategic Council co-chaired by Philippe Faure, the minister's special representative for Mexico, and Jorge Castañeda will meet to formulate proposals for cooperation between our two countries.

Ms. Ruiz Massieu will also attend the opening of the exhibit "ˇQué viva México! Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and the vanguards" at the Grand Palais. Featuring nearly 200 modern and contemporary works, this exhibit is considered the largest devoted to Mexican art in more than half a century.



Health – Launch of the strategy "France’s external action on challenges relating to population, rights and reproductive health 2016-2020" (Paris - October 4, 2016)

On October 4, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie André Vallini will present a report on France's strategy with respect to its external action on challenges relating to population, rights and sexual and reproductive health for 2016-2020 at the Palais de la Femme at 6 p.m. Laurence Rossignol, Minister of Families, Childhood and Women's Rights, and Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, will also be in attendance.

Mr. Vallini will identify France's priorities in this area: improving regulatory frameworks, expanding access to modern methods of contraception, and facilitating young people's access to sexual and reproductive health.



Mali – Attack on MINUSMA (October 3, 2016)

France condemns the attack carried out on October 3 in Aguelhok against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), during which two UN troops were killed and five others were injured.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and wish those injured a speedy recovery.

France reaffirms its full support for MINUSMA in its mission to promote stabilization and support for the peace process in Mali, and applauds the commitment of the countries in the region, as well as that of all countries contributing troops.

France remains resolutely committed to fighting terrorism alongside the Malian authorities.



Ethiopia (October 2, 2016)

France deplores the tragic event that occurred the day before yesterday in Ethiopia during a traditional Oromo ceremony in the town of Debre Zeit. The death toll must still be confirmed.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and express our solidarity with the Ethiopian people during these three days of mourning.

In a climate of tension lasting several months, we owe it to the victims' memory to get to the bottom of the circumstances that resulted in this tragedy.



Cape Verde – Presidential election (October 4, 2016)

France warmly congratulates Cape Verdean President Jorge Carlos Fonseca on his reelection.

Mr. Fonseca was reelected on Sunday to a second term. Balloting was monitored by observers from the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States.

France applauds the transparency and smooth unfolding of this election, which once again confirms the robustness of Cape Verde's democracy. It offers Mr. Fonseca its heartfelt wishes for the renewed success of his mission in the service of Cape Verde's citizens.



Climate – European Parliament approval of the Paris Agreement (October 4, 2016)

France welcomes the European Parliament's approval of the Paris Agreement. It will make it possible to deposit the instruments of ratification of the EU and member states that have completed their national processes—among them, France—this week.

Given the previous ratifications, this latest round will enable the Paris Agreement to enter in force in 30 days, less than a year after it was adopted at COP21.

This progress reflects the world's political commitment to the climate emergency. France, which lobbied tirelessly for the agreement's swift ratification, deserves credit for its commitment. The agreement's entry in force will make it possible to implement its provisions beginning with the upcoming COP22 in Marrakech.

We encourage all the parties to the agreement, and particularly EU nations, to conclude their ratification processes as swiftly as possible.



Economic diplomacy – Launch of the second edition of Invest in France Month (October 4, 2016)

The second edition of Invest in France Month is being held throughout October. Events are being held at some 66 embassies to promote France's appeal to local economic decision-makers. Jean-Marc Ayrault and Matthias Fekl will attend some of these events during their international travels.

The goal of this initiative is to make economic decision-makers and opinion-shapers aware of France's assets, reforms relating to competitiveness, and measures taken to better welcome international investors.

Several embassies will explore investments in strategic sectors: in health, the financial industry, the greater Paris area, and Paris as a jumping-off point for investing in Africa.

Last year, more than more than 2,000 economic decision-makers and journalists attended the various events held in 50 countries.



Congo

Yesterday evening, the minister said he wouldn't rule out the possibility of sanctions on Congo. Is the possibility of sanctions being discussed at the European level?

It is necessary to keep the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo from deteriorating. Our goal, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2277, adopted unanimously in March, is to guarantee respect of the constitutional order and to revive the political dialogue in the most inclusive and consensus-based manner so that presidential elections can be held as quickly as possible.

Since May 23, the EU foreign ministers have stressed the individual responsibility of actors to strictly respect the rule of law and human rights or face the consequences. France would like the EU to use all the means at its disposal including, if necessary, and in function of how the situation evolves, the use of sanctions against those guilty of serious human rights violations or who have stood in the way of a consensus-based, peaceful end to the crisis that respects the Congolese people's aspiration to elect its representatives.

In this regard, I want to highlight the minister's remarks yesterday on TV5: "I am not opposed to sanctions, sometimes we implement them. We adopted them against Russia because of the Ukraine situation, and we did the same for North Korea. If we have to adopt sanctions, we'll adopt sanctions. But I am also calling for reason. Those who are in power in Kinshasa must shoulder their responsibilities. If they want peace in their country, if they want the best for their people, then they will abide by their Constitution. This has to be decided quickly, because I think there's a real danger."



Syria

The United States announced that it is suspending discussions with Russia on a Syrian cease-fire. Do you support that decision?

As Jean-Marc Ayrault said on TV5, France is bringing a resolution before the UN Security Council to reestablish the cessation of hostilities, allow free and unhindered humanitarian access, and establish a surveillance mechanism to oversee truce violations and public international law. All parties must now assume their responsibilities.



Libya

What was the outcome of the Meeting for Libya? Did the participating countries agree on a road map that would allow the Libyan government to lead the army and exploit oil resources?

As Jean-Marc Ayrault said yesterday on TV5 Monde, "We hope Mr. Sarraj's national unity government will be successful. At the UN General Assembly, the international community reiterated its support for that national unity government. But at the same time, we see there are internal difficulties in bringing Libyans together."

The minister therefore expressed the wish that "Prime Minister Sarraj offer new proposals to expand his government" and have it "include all Libyan political forces and all Libyan regions."

With respect to oil resources, he stated that "oil resources must be under the authority of Mr. Sarraj's government and this money must be used to develop Libya and to benefit the Libyan people."


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