The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - December 1, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Malta – Visit by Harlem Désir (December 1-2, 2016)

◢  Development – André Vallini's participation in the conference of donors and investors (Paris - December 1-2, 2016)

◢  World AIDS Day (December 1, 2016)

◢  Ukraine – Military activities around Crimea

◢  European Union – Presentation of the European Defense Action Plan (November 30, 2016)

◢  UNESCO – Inscription of the Carnival of Granville on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (November 30, 2016)

◢  Egypt – Launch of the new Institut franšais website (November 30, 2016)

◢  Libya

Malta – Visit by Harlem Désir (December 1-2, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will visit Valetta December 1-2, 2016, in preparation for Malta's presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2017.

He will have meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs Louis Grech, Minister of Foreign Affairs George Vella, as well as Ian Borg, Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency and EU Funds.

Harlem Désir will express France's support for the Maltese presidency and for its priorities, notably with respect to migration, relations with the Mediterranean and social inclusion. He will stress the importance of this presidency for revitalizing Europe, notably with respect to growth, youth and defense.

This visit, a few days after the meeting between President Hollande and the Maltese prime minister in Paris on November 28, demonstrates the closeness of our bilateral relations, reflected by the training of 300 Maltese officials, organized by the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) in 2016.

Lastly, Harlem Désir will visit the "Commandant l'Herminier" dispatch boat which has docked in Malta.

Development – André Vallini's participation in the conference of donors and investors (Paris - December 1-2, 2016)

André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will take part this morning in the conference of donors and investors, organized by Madagascar with the support of the World Bank. The Madagascan delegation is led by President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, accompanied by several ministers.

This major event for Madagascar should give a decisive boost to the country's economic recovery. André Vallini reaffirmed France's support for the people of Madagascar and for the recovery efforts initiated in 2014. France, notably through the French Development Agency, is Madagascar's leading bilateral donor and one of its main economic partners.

France's commitment will be renewed and strengthened at the conference, bringing it to €100 million in loans and grants over the next three years in support of implementing Madagascar's national development plan.

World AIDS Day (December 1, 2016)

On the occasion of World AIDS Day, France reaffirms its solidarity with those living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

France, which has been the second largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria since its creation, recently renewed its commitment to the fund by pledging €1.08 billion over the next three years. This fund has made it possible to provide antiretroviral treatment to more than 9 million people.

France's commitment also includes generous support for UNITAID, to which we are the largest donor, having contributed 60% of the organization's cumulative resources since its creation. The goal is now to end the pandemic as a public health threat by 2030, in accordance with the sustainable development goals.

France is mobilized within the multilateral forums to combat all forms of discrimination against persons with HIV and to promote access to prevention and treatment

Ukraine – Military activities around Crimea

France expresses its concern regarding the mobilization of Russian vessels off the coast of Crimea in response to missile tests by Ukraine near the peninsula.

We call on the parties to refrain from any escalation and to encourage dialogue, to which France stands ready to contribute in every way possible

European Union – Presentation of the European Defense Action Plan (November 30, 2016)

The European Commission unveiled its European Defense Action Plan on November 30 aimed at strengthening the EU's defense capabilities as well as addressing declining budgets and the fragmentation of the market. This is a major contribution to the ongoing work.

France has a high level of expectation regarding the financing of the defense sector: We would notably like the Juncker Plan for strategic investment to be expanded to the defense sector, in particular to SMEs. We support the European Commission's discussions on the creation of a European Defense Fund to support states that are ready to increase their capabilities in this area. The flexibility of this tool is key to ensuring its success.

We commend the Commission's determination to strengthen the enforcement of the rules aimed at creating an integrated and competitive market for defense equipment. We also commend its intention to lend long-term support to research efforts.

UNESCO – Inscription of the Carnival of Granville on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (November 30, 2016)

France welcomes the decision by UNESCO on November 30, at a meeting in Addis Ababa, to inscribe the Carnival of Granville on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Carnival of Granville is a four-day celebration leading up to Shrove Tuesday. 2,700 carnival organizers spend six months creating 40 or so floats, which take a humorous look at current events, politicians and celebrities. This event attracts 100,000 visitors every year.

France now has 15 elements inscribed on UNESCO's List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Egypt – Launch of the new Institut franšais website (November 30, 2016)

The Institut franšais in Egypt launched a new version of its website on November 30, enhancing its already very active presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram).

This new dynamic and interactive website in French and Arabic reflects the richness of the programs and cooperation initiatives of the Institut franšais in Egypt. It provides access to all of the institute's digital tools (culturethèque, Campus France Egypte, France alumni Egypte, IF Profs Egypte).

To find out more, please visit:


What's your response to the deteriorating security situation in Tripoli?

France is extremely concerned by the escalating violence in Tripoli between armed groups. It is in close contact with Prime Minister Fayez Serraj and supports him in his efforts to re-establish state authority, especially in Tripoli.

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