The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - December 19, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Lebanon / Formation of the government (December 18, 2016) – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

◢  Democratic Republic of Congo – Political situation

◢  Jordan – Attack in Karak (December 18, 2016)

◢  Yemen – Attack in Aden (December 18, 2016)

◢  Libya – Retaking of the city of Surt (December 17, 2016)

◢  Italy – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart (Paris - December 20, 2016)

◢  Spain – Harlem Désir's visit to Madrid (December 19, 2016)

◢  Freedom of the press – Reporters Sans Frontières report (December 19, 2016)

◢  Egypt / EgyptAir MS804 crash – Reminder of the deputy spokesperson's statement (December 17, 2016)

◢  Turkey / Attack – Reminder of the deputy spokesman's statement (December 17, 2016)

◢  Burkina Faso / Attack in Nassoumbou – Reminder of the deputy spokesman's statement (December 17, 2016)

 
Lebanon / Formation of the government (December 18, 2016) – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

I welcome the formation of a national unity government in Lebanon.

I congratulate the president of the republic, General Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, as well as all Lebanese political forces, on ensuring, in a spirit of responsibility, that Lebanon's best interests prevailed.

We wish Saad Hariri and the new government, which will face numerous challenges, every success.

France, which is attached to the country's sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity, reaffirms its commitment alongside Lebanon. It will continue to play a full role in the international community's efforts. It will also continue its effort to strengthen the strong and close ties between our two countries in all areas.



Democratic Republic of Congo – Political situation

While President Kabila's constitutional term of office is drawing to a close, France expresses its deep concern. It calls on all parties to reject violence and to seek a peaceful solution to the current political crisis.

We support the continued efforts of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) to reach an inclusive agreement that will make it possible to hold elections as swiftly as possible and organize the transition to that end. We call on all parties to cooperate with CENCO.

We are concerned about the violations of fundamental rights and call on the Congolese authorities to respect the free exercise of constitutional freedoms.

The perpetrators bear individual responsibility for the crimes and other human rights violations. We call for urgent action in order to prevent a further crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. France is committed, in close collaboration with all of its European, international and African partners, to supporting a political solution that will respect the constitution.



Jordan – Attack in Karak (December 18, 2016)

France condemns the attack perpetrated on December 18 in Karak which killed 10 people.

We extend our condolences to the victims' families. France assures Jordan and Canada, the home country of one of the victims, of its solidarity in this ordeal. France, which is deeply attached to Jordan's stability and security, stands alongside it in the fight against terrorism.



Yemen – Attack in Aden (December 18, 2016)

France condemns the attack perpetrated against soldiers on December 18 in Aden, for which Daesh has claimed responsibility.

It extends its condolences to the victims' families and assures Yemen of its solidarity in the fight against terrorism.

This new attack confirms the urgent need for a political solution to the conflict. France calls on all Yemeni political forces to return to the path of negotiations under the auspices of the UN and its special envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.



Libya – Retaking of the city of Surt (December 17, 2016)

France welcomes the victory of the forces under the authority of Prime Minister Fayez Serraj's Government of National Accord over Daesh in Surt.

This is an important milestone in the fight against terrorism. The priority is now to establish an administration in this liberated city capable of meeting the needs of its inhabitants.

France calls on all Libyan forces to place themselves under the authority of the Government of National Accord in order to continue the critical fight against terrorism in Libya.



Italy – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart (Paris - December 20, 2016)

On December 20, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault is hosting his new Italian counterpart, Angelino Alfano.

This is the Italian foreign minister's first bilateral trip since Paolo Gentiloni's government came into power.

With Italy preparing to assume the G7 presidency and take up a seat in the UN Security Council, this meeting will provide an opportunity to review the main international crises, particularly the situation in Syria. The two ministers will also discuss the revitalization of the EU ahead of the Rome Summit on March 25.



Spain – Harlem Désir's visit to Madrid (December 19, 2016)

Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir is visiting Madrid today at the invitation of his Spanish counterpart, Jorge Toledo Albiñana.

They will discuss initiatives under way to revitalize Europe ahead of the Valletta and Rome summits in February and March.

France and Spain hope to swiftly and fully implement the road map adopted this past September in Bratislava, particularly with respect to security and defense, growth and jobs, and concrete projects for young Europeans.



Freedom of the press – Reporters Sans Frontières report (December 19, 2016)

We were concerned to learn of the conclusions of the latest Reporters Sans Frontières report, which stated that 74 journalists were killed around the world in 2016 in connection with their profession.

France, which was hit hard by the attack on Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, is committed to upholding the freedom of the press and the protection of journalists. By exercising their profession, they are also defending our freedom.

France is working actively within the UN to defend this fundamental liberty and to combat impunity for those who flout it. It calls for the full implementation of resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists in armed conflicts, adopted by the Security Council on May 27, 2015.



Egypt / EgyptAir MS804 crash – Reminder of the deputy spokesperson's statement (December 17, 2016)

Egypt's prosecutor-general has just announced his decision to return the remains of the victims of EgyptAir MS804.

This is an important decision—one that the families have been eagerly awaiting, and whose urgency was reiterated repeatedly by French authorities in recent months, including Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault.

French officials hope this decision will be implemented as quickly as possible and remain at the Egyptian authorities' disposal to that end.



Turkey / Attack – Reminder of the deputy spokesman's statement (December 17, 2016)

France condemns this morning's terrorist attack in the central Turkish city of Kayseri that left 13 dead and 48 injured according to provisional estimates.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and loved ones.

We express our solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism.



Burkina Faso / Attack in Nassoumbou – Reminder of the deputy spokesman's statement (December 17, 2016)

France condemns the attack on December 16 against a Burkinabe army post in Nassoumbou.

France offers its condolences and its heartfelt solidarity to the families of the victims and the authorities of Burkina Faso.

This latest attack illustrates the need to continue counterterrorism efforts. Our shared determination to combat individuals and groups attempting to destabilize the region will not waver. In the face of this threat, France will continue to support States in the region, particularly within the framework of the G5 Sahel.


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