The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - October 31, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Yemen – Peace plan and situation on the ground

◢  Turkey – Freedom of the press

◢  Environment / Antarctic – Creation of a marine protected area

◢  Egypt – Floods (October 28, 2016)

◢  International Criminal Court – Africa

Yemen – Peace plan and situation on the ground

France expresses its deep concern over the parties' rejection of the peace plan proposed by UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

Recent military developments, including a missile fired at Saudi Arabia and air strikes on a prison in Hodeidah on October 29 that left more than 60 dead, are unacceptable. With violence increasing on the ground and the humanitarian situation continuing to deteriorate, the parties must urgently agree on a solution to end the crisis and immediately stop their attacks on civilians as well as on other States.

France calls on the parties to abide by their international commitments, and particularly international humanitarian law, and to cooperate fully with the UN special envoy to swiftly achieve a cease-fire that is respected by all and an inclusive political solution that allows for lasting peace.

Turkey – Freedom of the press

France is closely following the situation in Turkey, after the closing, by decree, of 15 media outlets and the arrests and arrest warrants issued for several members of the daily Cumhuriyet, including editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and executive board chairman Akin Atalay.

France reiterates its commitment to the freedom of expression, particularly the freedom of the press, a vital component of any democratic society.

Environment / Antarctic – Creation of a marine protected area

France welcomes the creation of a marine protected area in the Ross Sea. This is an undeniable step forward in the protection of Antarctic marine flora and fauna.

France calls for the establishment of other marine protected areas to preserve this unique environment, and along with the EU and Australia, supports the creation of such an area in eastern Antarctica.

Egypt – Floods (October 28, 2016)

France expresses its solidarity with Egypt following the floods of the last few days that left more than 20 dead.

We offer our deep condolences to the victims' families and our sympathy to the injured.

International Criminal Court – Africa

Despite your appeals, several African countries want to pull out of the ICC. After Burundi and South Africa, Gambia has now expressed its intention to leave the Court. These countries may be imitated by others. How do you respond? What can be done to stop this momentum?

France has expressed its concern and regret over the announcement by certain countries of their intention to begin the process of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court.

Combating impunity is vital to maintaining respect for human rights, reconciliation, and a lasting peace. In this regard, the International Criminal Court is playing a unique role as the world's only universal criminal court.

We urgently call on those countries that have made these announcements to reconsider their intentions, and we stand ready to hold a constructive dialogue on the functioning on the international criminal justice system.

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