The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - January 25, 2018
In this issue:

◢  "Nuit des Idées" ("Night of Ideas") – Launch of the third edition at the Quai d'Orsay (January 25, 2018)

◢  United Nations - Syria – Resumption of inter-Syrian peace talks in Vienna (January 25, 2018)

◢  Egypt

◢  Libya

"Nuit des Idées" ("Night of Ideas") – Launch of the third edition at the Quai d'Orsay (January 25, 2018)

The third edition of the "Nuit des Idées" ("Night of Ideas") event will bring together tens of thousands of people on the evening of January 25 to focus on the theme of "Power to Imagination."

The "Nuit des Idées" event takes place all over the world, from Fiji to Vancouver, by way of Brest and Grenoble, and features 170 events in 65 countries, reflecting the cultural network's commitment to a "diplomacy of ideas" that fosters dialogue and exchange.

At the invitation of Jean-Yves le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Quai d'Orsay will host the event's launch in Paris featuring iconic figure, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a global humanist and feminist campaigner who will share her commitments to the fight against inequality between men and women, her convictions with respect to the role that African countries should play in globalization, and her hopes for the easing of religious and ethnic tensions on a continent whose development and stability are critical to the future of our world.

Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, will kick off the event, while the mobilization of civil societies is helping to support the relaunching of the European project initiated by President Macron.

The "Nuit des Idées" event, organized by the Institut français, an agency of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, is an annual invitation to make innovative proposals for exchanging culture and knowledge, engaging young people and showcasing, in a festive atmosphere, intellectual and cultural scenes all over the world. The "Nuit des Idées" event reflects the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs' commitment to the circulation of ideas and public debate.

United Nations - Syria – Resumption of inter-Syrian peace talks in Vienna (January 25, 2018)

In connection with the resumption of the inter-Syrian peace negotiations today in Vienna, France reaffirms its full support for the mediation efforts of Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

While the opposition is unified and is taking a constructive approach, the Syrian regime must put an end to its deliberate strategy of obstruction and engage, in a sincere manner, in the negotiations. France calls on the supporters of the Damascus regime to exert the necessary pressure to that end. It also reaffirms the pressing need to ensure immediate, free and unrestricted access to humanitarian assistance for all populations affected by the conflict, notably in Eastern Ghouta.

The negotiations under UN auspices remain the only legitimate framework for resolving the Syrian crisis, on the basis of UNSCR 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué.

The minister stated yesterday that the peace talks on Syria in Vienna represented a last hope for finding a political solution to the conflict. Given the current context, what would be a realistic and concrete goal for creating new momentum in less than two days?

Please refer to today's statement.


Do you consider the Egyptian presidential campaign to be free and credible?

The Egyptian election campaign will begin once all the candidates who have filed before January 29 have been validated by the electoral commission and the final list of candidates has been announced on February 24.

We encourage the Egyptian authorities to do everything possible to ensure that this campaign unfolds in the best possible conditions.

France is committed to strengthening democracy and the rule of law, which both contribute to stability.


The UN shared its concerns yesterday over new reports of summary executions in Benghazi. Are you satisfied with the investigation that began last year into allegations of extrajudicial executions in Benghazi by the Libyan National Army (LNA) under the control of Field Marshal Haftar?

France's position is unwavering. On August 17, 2017, we—joined by our American and British partners—urged that individuals from any party suspected of having committed, ordered or failed to prevent extrajudicial executions or acts of torture be subjected to an in-depth investigation and held accountable for their actions as needed.

France reaffirms its support for UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé's action plan to achieve a political solution.

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