The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - January 19, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Western Mediterranean - 5 + 5 Dialogue – Foreign ministers meeting (Algiers - January 21, 2018)

◢  European Union – Jean-Yves Le Drian's participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels - January 22, 2018)

◢  Japan – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (Tokyo - January 26-29, 2018)

◢  Fight against proliferation – Launch of International Partnership against Impunity for Use of Chemical Weapons (Paris - January 23, 2018)

Western Mediterranean - 5 + 5 Dialogue – Foreign ministers meeting (Algiers - January 21, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will co-chair together with his Algerian counterpart, Abdelkader Messahel, the 14th meeting of the foreign ministers of the "5+5 Dialogue on the Western Mediterranean" on January 21.

During this meeting, the ministers will work on the concrete responses to issues relating to development (economic, social and sustainable), migration and youth in the 5 + 5 Dialogue countries. The work will also focus on strengthening cooperation in the area of security in the face of the regional crises, notably in Libya and the Sahel.

The 5 + 5 Dialogue brings together Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Portugal on the northern shore, as well as Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia on the southern shore. This is the oldest forum for bringing together the countries on both shores of the Mediterranean Basin; it was created with the aim of launching a regional cooperation process in the Western Mediterranean.

During the conference on the "Mediterranean of the Future" on November 21 in Marseille, Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed the need to better involve entrepreneurs, innovators and creators from civil society in our collective efforts to build a shared space in the Mediterranean.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs supports more than 300 French local authorities involved in almost 700 decentralized cooperation projects with a dozen countries in the Mediterranean Basin. It also supports the civil society organizations and businesses active in the Mediterranean space, notably through the regional multi-stakeholder networks currently being established in the 13 French regions.

European Union – Jean-Yves Le Drian's participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels - January 22, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian will take part in the meeting of EU foreign ministers on January 22 in Brussels.

The work will focus on the following points:

  • African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries: following the presentation by the Commission of its draft mandate on December 12, the ministers will launch the preparatory work on the conclusion of a new post-2020 ("post-Cotonou") agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Jean-Yves Le Drian will make the case for a modernized, ambitious and demanding partnership, that will combine elements that are legally binding upon and common across the three regions with the need to adapt to the specific requirements of each region, through regional pacts;
  • Libya: the ministers will discuss the situation with Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, for whom they will reaffirm their support. They will examine the initial results of the task force established between the UN, the EU and the African Union to improve the situation of migrants.
    Jean-Yves Le Drian will reaffirm France's determination to take action by combating trafficking, including through sanctions targeted against smugglers and traffickers of human beings, and by encouraging the resettlement of persons in need of protection;
  • Middle East peace process: The ministers will reaffirm the EU's commitment to the peace process and a negotiated two-state solution within the parameters established by the international community. A lunch meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the EU's support for the Palestinian Authority.

During the meeting, the ministers will adopt conclusions on the following points: EU-Iraq relations, situation in Zimbabwe, integrated approach to conflict prevention and management, EU priorities for the Council of Europe in 2018 and 2019, sanctions against Venezuela and the North Korean regime.

Japan – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (Tokyo - January 26-29, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in Japan from January 26 to 29.

Accompanied by Florence Parly, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs will attend the fourth session of the 2+2 political and military dialogue between foreign and defense ministers, which will help bolster our bilateral relations on security and defense. He will also meet with his Japanese counterpart, Tarō Kōno, during the seventh session of the strategic bilateral dialogue on January 27. And both he and the armed forces minister will be hosted by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

This visit will give new momentum to the exceptional partnership between France and Japan as we mark the 160th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations.

During his meetings, Mr. Le Drian will reaffirm Frances support and solidarity with Japan and its regional partners in the face of the development of the North Korean nuclear and ballistic program, as well as the need to preserve the non-proliferation regime. He will work with his interlocutors on all the major international challenges: strengthening multilateralism; combating terrorism; resolving regional crises; protecting an international maritime order based on the rule of law; fighting climate change; cooperating on international development; and fighting all forms of protectionism.

Mr. Le Drian will also discuss our two countries' economic relations, notably on civilian nuclear power, and the EU-Japan partnership agreement that will open new prospects for trade.

Fight against proliferation – Launch of International Partnership against Impunity for Use of Chemical Weapons (Paris - January 23, 2018)

On January 23, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will launch the new International Partnership against Impunity for Use of Chemical Weapons.

Twenty-nine nations will endorse a series of commitments aimed at strengthening their cooperation in the fight against impunity for those who use or develop chemical weapons. They will agree to make any information they were able to obtain on the perpetrators of chemical attacks available to the international community, international investigative organizations (UN, OPCW), and the public.

A dedicated website will be inaugurated at the conference. The partnership's activities will be consultable on the site.

This partnership will be open to all nations that wish to endorse its objectives as part of an ongoing cooperative effort.

Although chemical weapons had disappeared for some 20 years, their reappearance in Iraq, Syria, and Asia, where they have fallen into the hands of state and non-state actors, demands a resolute mobilization by the international community.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
f t Youtube Flickr Instagram