The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - March 23, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Qatar – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani (Paris - March 22, 2018)

◢  Health – World TB Day (March 24, 2018)

◢  United Kingdom

Qatar – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani (Paris - March 22, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, on March 22.

The discussions focused in particular on the following points:

  • Bilateral relations: Following President Macron's visit to Qatar on December 7, the ministers worked on strengthening our cooperation and on the organization of upcoming bilateral events;
  • Syria: The minsters agreed on the need to ensure the sustained enforcement of the ceasefire throughout the Syrian territory, as provided for by UNSCR 2401, and the implementation of a political solution in accordance with UNSCR 2254. Jean-Yves Le Drian and Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani also discussed the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ghouta. Safe, complete and unrestricted humanitarian access to all populations in need must be ensured. The fight against terrorism and the eradication of Daesh also remain a priority;
  • Iran: Mr. Le Drian informed his counterpart about his discussions in Tehran on March 5, notably with respect to the nuclear agreement, the Iranian ballistic missile program and Iran's regional action;
  • Gulf region: Mr. Le Drian reaffirmed France's attachment to the unity of our Arab partners in the Gulf region;
  • Lebanon: The ministers took stock of France's recent initiatives to strengthen the Lebanese state's institutions. Following the meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon in Paris on November 6, the CEDRE conference on April 6 will be aimed at promoting reforms and supporting the Lebanese economy;
  • The fight against terrorism: The discussions focused in particular on preparations for the International Conference on Combating Terrorist Financing scheduled to take place on April 26 in Paris on the initiative of President Macron. Qatar will take part in the conference.

Health – World TB Day (March 24, 2018)

On this World TB Day, France reaffirms its commitment to end that pandemic by 2030, in accordance with the sustainable development goals.

Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent and was responsible for 1.7 million deaths in 2016, 95% of them in low- and middle-income countries. Despite the progress that has been made over the past 20 years, which made it possible to avoid 53 million deaths between 2000 and 2016, the challenges remain enormous. The development of forms of antimicrobial-resistant tuberculosis, which have tripled since 2010, jeopardize the progress that has been made.

This commitment can be seen in particular through our work with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which accounts for 65% of international funding for programs to combat tuberculosis, and with UNITAID, which allocates 20% of its funding for that purpose. Expertise France, the French Development Agency, civil society, research institutions, and the pharmaceutical industry are also actively involved in research and innovation to combat tuberculosis and are helping to strengthen health care systems in the countries most affected.

After the first Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB organized by the World Health Organization in Moscow in November 2017, the UN General Assembly will hold the first high-level meeting on tuberculosis on September 26 in New York. This event, in which France will participate, should culminate in ambitious commitments to bring an end to tuberculosis.

United Kingdom

Is France considering the expulsion of Russian diplomats following the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in England? Has that decision already been made?

I refer you to the President's statements on that subject.

France reiterates its full solidarity with the United Kingdom.

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