The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - March 20, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Iran

◢  Syria

◢  Export of war material

◢  Israel – Palestinian Territories

◢  Personal data protection

◢  Russia

 
Iran

Could you confirm that the E3 are preparing new sanctions on Iran to preserve the JCPOA?

Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke in Brussels on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council taking place today.

"We are absolutely determined to ensure that the Vienna agreements are upheld, and we must take strong action in this respect. We must not however exclude Iran's responsibility in ballistic missile proliferation and its highly questionable role throughout the Middle East region."



Syria

Does the capture of Afrin by the Turkish army and Syrian militia pose a "real problem" for France as the president implied in January and if so what does France intend to do?

What is France's response to the capture of Afrin by the Turkish army, which ousted the Kurdish YPG militia allied with the international coalition against the Islamic State?

France expresses its deep concern at the humanitarian situation in Afrin where tens of thousands of people have been displaced and where a very large number of civilians are in a critical situation. It calls for compliance with international humanitarian law and reaffirms that UNSCR 2401, unanimously adopted on February 24, demands a cessation of hostilities throughout the Syrian territory, which includes Afrin.

Our position is constant: Turkey's legitimate concerns regarding the security of its border must not result in the establishment of a military base deep within Syrian territory. As Jean-Yves Le Drian stated, there can be no question of adding war to war in Syria.

We will therefore continue to work toward de-escalating tensions in northern Syria. We must in particular allow the displaced civilian population to freely return, under satisfactory conditions of safety. Representative and inclusive governance of all components of local society must also be established.

France reaffirms that its priority remains the destruction of Daesh, to which the Syrian Democratic Forces have made a decisive contribution, for which it is grateful. Their capacity must be maintained.



Export of war material

What is your response to criticism that the system for selling French weapons is not transparent enough?

France has a robust and transparent system to monitor the export of war material.

A case-by-case analysis of export license applications is conducted within the framework of an interministerial procedure within the Interministerial Commission for the Study of Military Equipment Exports (CIEEMG) and export decisions are made under the responsibility of the prime minister in strict accordance with France’s international commitments.

A report on France's export of weapons is submitted to Parliament every year and the 2017 edition is available online. France also submits its national contribution to the European Parliament report every year, in accordance with our commitments under Common Position 2008/944 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment.

France is also taking part in the UN Register of Conventional Arms; each year it communicates information related to weapons exports, imports, the provisioning of its armed forces and procurement through national production.

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/desarmement-et-non-proliferation/la-france-et-le-controle-des-exportations-sensibles/article/controle-des-exportations-de-materiels-de-guerre



Israel – Palestinian Territories

What is your response following the arrest of a French national in Israel suspected of providing contraband weapons to Palestinians?

A French consular employee in the Palestinian Territories has been accused by Israel of using the privileges associated with diplomatic activities to engage in arms trafficking between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Can you comment on these accusations? What is France’s position?

A member of the technical section of the French Consulate in Jerusalem was arrested by Israeli authorities on serious charges in connection with alleged weapons trafficking.

We are taking this case very seriously. While this case is before the Israeli court, we are ensuring that all of our compatriot's rights are being respected, and are refraining from making any detailed remarks.

Our compatriot is receiving full consular protections and has received several visits by our Embassy in Tel Aviv, including a visit by our ambassador herself.

We are in constant contact with our compatriot's family and with the Israeli authorities.

Furthermore, the minister promptly ordered the Inspectorate-General of Foreign Affairs to begin an administrative investigation on site, in order to gather all available information related to this event. It is also aimed at drawing all possible conclusions in order to allow our employees at the Consulate General to continue their important work as best they can under difficult circumstances.



Personal data protection

Do you have any reaction to the revelation that Facebook shared data with Cambridge Analytica, which then used it for political purposes? Do you think France is safe from this sort of thing?

This case reveals the enormous importance of protecting the personal data of Internet users, particularly European citizens.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation will come into force in a few months (on May 25, 2018) and will considerably strengthen data protection.

This regulation will introduce and strengthen new rights for European citizens, particularly the principle of consent and end use (the user must be informed of the purpose his or her data is being used for).



Russia

What is your reaction to Vladimir Putin's reelection?

I refer you to the Elysée's communiqué on today's conversation between President Macron and his Russian counterpart.




France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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IranSyriaExport of war material Israel – Palestinian Territories • Personal data protection Russia • Iran
• Syria
• Export of war material
• Israel – Palestinian Territories
• Personal data protection
• Russia
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Iran

Could you confirm that the E3 are preparing new sanctions on Iran to preserve the JCPOA?

Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke in Brussels on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council taking place today.

"We are absolutely determined to ensure that the Vienna agreements are upheld, and we must take strong action in this respect. We must not however exclude Iran's responsibility in ballistic missile proliferation and its highly questionable role throughout the Middle East region."

 


Syria

Does the capture of Afrin by the Turkish army and Syrian militia pose a "real problem" for France as the president implied in January and if so what does France intend to do?

What is France's response to the capture of Afrin by the Turkish army, which ousted the Kurdish YPG militia allied with the international coalition against the Islamic State?

France expresses its deep concern at the humanitarian situation in Afrin where tens of thousands of people have been displaced and where a very large number of civilians are in a critical situation. It calls for compliance with international humanitarian law and reaffirms that UNSCR 2401, unanimously adopted on February 24, demands a cessation of hostilities throughout the Syrian territory, which includes Afrin.

Our position is constant: Turkey's legitimate concerns regarding the security of its border must not result in the establishment of a military base deep within Syrian territory. As Jean-Yves Le Drian stated, there can be no question of adding war to war in Syria.

We will therefore continue to work toward de-escalating tensions in northern Syria. We must in particular allow the displaced civilian population to freely return, under satisfactory conditions of safety. Representative and inclusive governance of all components of local society must also be established.

France reaffirms that its priority remains the destruction of Daesh, to which the Syrian Democratic Forces have made a decisive contribution, for which it is grateful. Their capacity must be maintained.

 


Export of war material

What is your response to criticism that the system for selling French weapons is not transparent enough?

France has a robust and transparent system to monitor the export of war material.

A case-by-case analysis of export license applications is conducted within the framework of an interministerial procedure within the Interministerial Commission for the Study of Military Equipment Exports (CIEEMG) and export decisions are made under the responsibility of the prime minister in strict accordance with France’s international commitments.

A report on France's export of weapons is submitted to Parliament every year and the 2017 edition is available online. France also submits its national contribution to the European Parliament report every year, in accordance with our commitments under Common Position 2008/944 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment.

France is also taking part in the UN Register of Conventional Arms; each year it communicates information related to weapons exports, imports, the provisioning of its armed forces and procurement through national production.

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/desarmement-et-non-proliferation/la-france-et-le-controle-des-exportations-sensibles/article/controle-des-exportations-de-materiels-de-guerre

 


Israel – Palestinian Territories

What is your response following the arrest of a French national in Israel suspected of providing contraband weapons to Palestinians?

A French consular employee in the Palestinian Territories has been accused by Israel of using the privileges associated with diplomatic activities to engage in arms trafficking between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Can you comment on these accusations? What is France’s position?

A member of the technical section of the French Consulate in Jerusalem was arrested by Israeli authorities on serious charges in connection with alleged weapons trafficking.

We are taking this case very seriously. While this case is before the Israeli court, we are ensuring that all of our compatriot's rights are being respected, and are refraining from making any detailed remarks.

Our compatriot is receiving full consular protections and has received several visits by our Embassy in Tel Aviv, including a visit by our ambassador herself.

We are in constant contact with our compatriot's family and with the Israeli authorities.

Furthermore, the minister promptly ordered the Inspectorate-General of Foreign Affairs to begin an administrative investigation on site, in order to gather all available information related to this event. It is also aimed at drawing all possible conclusions in order to allow our employees at the Consulate General to continue their important work as best they can under difficult circumstances.

 


Personal data protection

Do you have any reaction to the revelation that Facebook shared data with Cambridge Analytica, which then used it for political purposes? Do you think France is safe from this sort of thing?

This case reveals the enormous importance of protecting the personal data of Internet users, particularly European citizens.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation will come into force in a few months (on May 25, 2018) and will considerably strengthen data protection.

This regulation will introduce and strengthen new rights for European citizens, particularly the principle of consent and end use (the user must be informed of the purpose his or her data is being used for).

 


Russia

What is your reaction to Vladimir Putin's reelection?

I refer you to the Elysée's communiqué on today's conversation between President Macron and his Russian counterpart.