The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - February 12, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Russia / Plane crash (February 11, 2018) – Reminder of the statement issued by the spokesperson

◢  Iraq - Kuwait – Visits by Jean-Yves Le Drian (February 12-13, 2018

◢  United Nations – International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers (February 12, 2018)

◢  Democratic Republic of the Congo – Appointment of Leila Zerrougui to head MONUSCO (February 12, 2018)

◢  United Nations – Death of Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran (February 11, 2018)

◢  Iran – Death in detention of Iranian-Canadian academic Kavous Seyed-Emami (February 10, 2018)

◢  Middle East

 
Russia / Plane crash (February 11, 2018) – Reminder of the statement issued by the spokesperson

We were extremely saddened to learn of the terrible toll exacted by the plane crash that took place near Moscow.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved.

France assures the Russian authorities and people of its wholehearted solidarity at this painful time.



Iraq - Kuwait – Visits by Jean-Yves Le Drian (February 12-13, 2018

Jean-Yves Le Drian is visiting Iraq and Kuwait from February 12 to 13.

In Baghdad, he met with his counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, as well as with President Fouad Massoum and Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jubouri. He will then meet with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Jean-Yves Le Drian will then visit Erbil to meet with Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.

Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated France's congratulations on the progress made in the fight against Daesh and paid tribute to the courage and determination of the Iraqi forces. He confirmed France's long-term commitment alongside them, and our desire to develop strong defense cooperation with Iraq in order to ensure lasting victory over Daesh.

The minister for Europe and foreign affairs also welcomed the resumption of dialogue between Iraq's central government and the authorities of the autonomous Kurdish region and reaffirmed France's hope that an agreement can be swiftly reached while ensuring respect for the Iraqi constitution and the rights of the Kurds. During this visit, he reaffirmed our support for the facilitation efforts of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Jan Kubis. Lastly, he will reaffirm our wish to see Iraq embark on the path toward national reconciliation and continue its efforts to establish inclusive governance that responds to the aspirations of all components of Iraqi society, in particular the Iraqi Kurds. The minister will also meet with representatives of the Yazidi community, which has been persecuted by Daesh.

Jean-Yves Le Drian will then visit Kuwait on February 13 to take part in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh and the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq. He will reaffirm that France, which stood alongside Iraq in the fight against Daesh, will also be there to support it in its efforts to address the challenges of stabilization and reconstruction in the country.



United Nations – International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers (February 12, 2018)

On the occasion of International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, France reaffirms its determination to protect children in armed conflict.

Children continue to bear the brunt of conflict. In order to pursue this international mobilization, France and UNICEF hosted the "Protect children from war" conference on February 21, 2017, which notably provided an opportunity for new states to support the Paris Principles and Commitments aimed at protecting children from recruitment by armed groups, bringing the number of signatory states to 108. We urge the states that have not yet done so to lend their support to this text.

France also wishes to draw the international community's attention to new threats against children: in addition to the recruitment of children by armed groups or forces, we must now be vigilant with respect to efforts at early indoctrination and the use of children as human bombs by terrorist groups. That is why we made this subject a priority of our Security Council presidency in October 2017.



Democratic Republic of the Congo – Appointment of Leila Zerrougui to head MONUSCO (February 12, 2018)

France applauds the appointment of Leila Zerrougui as the UN Secretary General's Special Representative and head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

We want to assure Ms. Zerrougui of our full support in efforts to resolve the current crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

That will come about through the holding of free and transparent elections before the end of the year.



United Nations – Death of Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran (February 11, 2018)

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran and former Special Rapporteur for the freedom of religion or belief.

France offers its condolences to her family and loved ones.

Internationally renowned for her commitment, Ms. Jahangir stood as an example for all those who defend and promote human rights.



Iran – Death in detention of Iranian-Canadian academic Kavous Seyed-Emami (February 10, 2018)

France expresses its concern following the announcement of the death in prison of the Iranian-Canadian academic and environmental activist Kavous Seyed-Emami.

France offers its condolences to his family and loved ones.

We call on the Iranian authorities to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of his death.



Middle East

Do you fear unrest in the Middle East, or even a direct confrontation between Iran and Israel, following the latest Israeli airstrikes in Syria and the destruction of an Israeli F16?

France is mindful of Israel's security and is observing recent evolutions in the military situation in Syria with concern.

It is pursuing its contacts with all its partners and countries in the region with a view to beginning real political negotiations as swiftly as possible to ease tensions, facilitate humanitarian access, and finally find a solution to the Syrian crisis within the framework of UN Security Council resolution 2254.


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