The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - November 4, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Climate – Entry in force of the Paris Agreement (November 4, 2016)

◢  Higher Education – Annual Campus France meetings (Paris - November 7-9, 2016)

◢  Lebanon / Saad Hariri named Prime Minister – Statement by Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (November 3, 2016)

◢  Turkey – Attack

◢  Turkey – Arrest of Parliamentarians

◢  Switzerland – Annual political consultations (Paris - November 2, 2016)

◢  Gabon – Arrest of journalists (November 3, 2016)

Climate – Entry in force of the Paris Agreement (November 4, 2016)

The Paris Agreement entered in force today.

This is a major step forward in the fight against climate change. Coming less than a year after the adoption of the agreement on December 12, 2015, and before COP22 gets under way in Marrakech, it reflects the international community's determination to save the planet from the effects of climate disruption.

To date, the Paris agreement has been ratified by 96 pays and the European Union, which together represent 69.21% of total greenhouse gas emissions. France applauds all the countries that have ratified it, particularly those that have done so in the past few days, such as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Indonesia. We must remain mobilized and quickly arrive at the point of universal participation. France therefore invites all countries that have not yet done so to proceed promptly with ratification.

It is now time for implementation; that is the challenge of the Marrakech COP. France supports the Moroccan presidency. It will continue to rally its entire diplomatic network and instruments of cooperation to guarantee the implementation of the Paris agreement.

Higher Education – Annual Campus France meetings (Paris - November 7-9, 2016)

On November 7, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault will open the annual Campus France meetings in Paris.

Africa, which is assuming growing importance in the global university landscape and international student mobility, will be this year's guest of honor.

This meeting is hosted by Campus France, an agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development that encourages foreign students to study in France, in partnership with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie. It will bring together 141 French institutions of higher learning (universities, elite schools, specialized academies) as well as 39 African universities.

For more information visit

Lebanon / Saad Hariri named Prime Minister – Statement by Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (November 3, 2016)

I offer my warmest congratulations to Saad Hariri, who on November 3 was named Prime Minister of the Lebanese Republic, and send him my best wishes for success in the task entrusted in him.

Lebanon is entering a new stage that may bring an end to the institutional crisis the country has experienced for more than two years.

Ending the crisis calls for the swift formation of a unity government, which is vital to enabling Lebanon to meet its challenges and allowing the international community to better help the country, particularly on the economic, humanitarian and security levels.

I therefore encourage all Lebanese parties to work to this end, demonstrating responsibility and a willingness to compromise in the overriding interests of the country.

For France, Lebanon has always been a friend and remains a model of pluralism and tolerance in the region. France attributes great importance to that country's sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity, and will provide it with its full support. It will continue to do play a role in the international community's efforts. We are also continuing the efforts we have made throughout our shared history to strengthen strong close ties in every area between France and Lebanon.

Turkey – Attack

France condemns last night's terrorist attack in Diyarbakir.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and loved ones. We express our solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism.

Turkey – Arrest of Parliamentarians

France and Turkey share common values that underpin their relations and translate notably into our countries' adhesion to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The arrest of several HDP deputies therefore raises serious concern.

France calls on Turkey to respect the rule of law and fundamental liberties, including democratic pluralism and freedom of expression and the press.

Switzerland – Annual political consultations (Paris - November 2, 2016)

On November 2, Christian Masset, secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, received his Swiss counterpart, Yves Rossier, state secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, for the annual political consultations conducted by our two countries.

Switzerland is an important partner for France, with which it maintains a political dialogue and very close relations.

These consultations focused on major issues of European and international concern. Discussions dealt with cross-border cooperation, Switzerland's relations with the EU, and the consequences of the British referendum of June 23.

On this occasion, Mr. Masset and Mr. Rossier finalized the negotiation of an intergovernmental tax for the Basel-Mulhouse airport, which had got under way following the joint declaration of January 23. The agreement was initialed the same day and will be subject to the usual internal proceedings with respect to its signature and ratification. It establishes a permanent legal regime that guarantees the development and improvement of the airport and the activities it hosts.

Gabon – Arrest of journalists (November 3, 2016)

France learned of the arrest of journalists and staffers at the weekly Les Echos du Nord in Gabon on November 3.

On this occasion, we reiterate our commitment to the freedom of expression and especially the freedom of the press, a vital component of any democratic society.

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