The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - February 28, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Angola – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (March 1, 2018)

◢  Zimbabwe – Meeting between Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Zimbabwe (March 1, 2018)

◢  Syria

◢  DRC

 
Angola – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (March 1, 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in Angola on March 1. His visit will underscore France and Angola's determination to strengthen their partnership in every area and to work together closely on regional security challenges, especially the situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

The minister will meet with President João Lourenço and with his counterpart, Manuel Augusto. Agreements will be signed on agriculture, aviation services, and tourism. A financing agreement will also be signed on the study of future projects by the French Development Agency, which resumed its activities in Angola in July 2017. The minister will meet with the heads of French companies in Angola and with the French community at the Lycée Français de Luanda.



Zimbabwe – Meeting between Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Zimbabwe (March 1, 2018)

Tomorrow, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, minister of state attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will host Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who is serving as President Emmerson Mnangagwa's special envoy.

Mindful of the expectations raised by the political transition in Zimbabwe, France, along with its European partners, was pleased to take note of the commitments undertaken by President Mnangagwa concerning the holding of general elections in the summer of 2018 that will be free, calm, and transparent, characterized by a respect for human rights and the economic reform program.

This meeting will provide an opportunity to take stock of the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe and the prospects heralded by this election.



Syria

This morning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta of blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of civilians who wish to leave. What is your response?

All concerned parties must fully implement the provisions of UN Security Council resolution 2401, which calls for the establishment of a permanent truce lasting at least 30 days. This truce is absolutely necessary to allow humanitarian actors to deliver aid and to securely evacuate the sick and injured.

Armed groups in Eastern Ghouta pledged to the UN Security Council that they would abide by resolution 2401 and accept the truce. Bashar al-Assad's regime, on the other hand, did not make such a commitment. But he must abide by Security Council resolutions.

We are therefore asking backers of the Syrian regime to exert maximum pressure to force it to implement its obligations.



DRC

Survie, ACAT and other associations have called on President Macron to put an end to cooperation with the Congolese security services.

What is the status of cooperation between France and the DRC, with respect to the army, the Congolese police and the National Intelligence Agency? Is France still authorizing the delivery of lethal and non-lethal weapons to the DRC?

France is paying close attention to the situation in the DRC, and renews its appeal for the effective holding of elections in accordance with the electoral calendar published on November 5, 2017, with due respect for the Congolese constitution and the spirit of consensus that prevailed during the signing of the political agreement of December 31, 2016.

With respect to the human rights situation in particular, France has repeatedly expressed its concern by condemning the violence perpetrated by the security forces, by calling on the Congolese authorities to shed full light on this violence and to use force proportionally when maintaining law and order.

France's security and defense cooperation in the DRC has decreased over the last few years and has been adapted to the changing internal situation. It has been refocused on assistance for training Congolese army officers, independently of any operational activity. With respect to internal security, there are no French volunteer workers (coopérants) involved in activities closely or remotely connected with law enforcement.

France maintains strict control over arms exports. Export licenses are issued under the authority of the prime minister following consultation with the Interministerial Commission for the Study of War Materials Exports (Commission interministérielle pour l'étude des exportations de matériels de guerre). Licenses are issued in strict compliance with France's international obligations.

With respect to the DRC, France applies restrictive measures on the arms trade imposed by the UN Security Council and the EU. For all exports of war material not covered by the scope of these measures, France adopts a restrictive approach by taking into consideration the criteria specified in the EU's common position and the provisions of the arms trade treaty. France has not authorized the export of lethal or non-lethal war material to the DRC since November 2016.


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