The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - April 23, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Afghanistan – Attack in Kabul (April 22, 2018)

◢  North Korea – Announcement of the suspension of nuclear tests

◢  Israel/Palestinian territories – Situation in the Gaza Strip

Afghanistan – Attack in Kabul (April 22, 2018)

France condemns the attack against a voter registration center on April 22 in Kabul, which left nearly 50 people dead and around 100 injured. This attack comes in the wake of several attacks last week against election preparation centers.

France extends its condolences to the bereaved and assures the injured of its support. It stands alongside the Afghan people in the fight against terrorism.

The election process must be allowed to take place safely and without intimidation. In this respect, France reaffirms its support for the initiatives presented by President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan during the second meeting of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation on February 28.

North Korea – Announcement of the suspension of nuclear tests

The announcement by North Korea of the suspension of nuclear tests, the suspension of long-range ballistic missile tests as well as the closure of the nuclear test site is an encouraging first step.

It must lead to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the programs, as called for by the UN Security Council resolutions, which must be fully implemented.

France would like to see the establishment of lasting peace on the peninsular, to which the forthcoming summits should contribute.

Israel/Palestinian territories – Situation in the Gaza Strip

In the Gaza Strip, MSF medical staff has reported "seeing patients with unusually severe injuries, many of which are extremely complex to treat. Such serious injuries will leave many of these patients with long-term physical disabilities." Injuries caused by real bullets from Israeli army snipers. These teams "note that the injuries include destruction of bones and soft tissue, as well as large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist." On the 20th, another four Palestinians were killed. A fifth succumbed to his wounds this morning. That brings to 39 the number of demonstrators killed since March 30, when the "Great Return March" movement began. What does France plan on doing in concrete terms, not just in words, to stop this weekly massacre that continues while the world remains silent?

President Macron shared his concern over the situation in Gaza during his telephone conversation on April 21 with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. It is imperative to end the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip by ending the blockade and lifting restrictions, as well as through credible security guarantees for Israel.

Once again, France condemns the indiscriminate firing by the Israeli army on demonstrators in Gaza and deplores the five latest deaths in the past few days.

We reiterate our demand for restraint on the part of the concerned authorities and for a proportionate use of force consistent with international humanitarian law. We remind them of the duty to protect civilians, particularly minors, and of the Palestinians' right to demonstrate peacefully.

France will continue its efforts to achieve a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians, the only way to return to the path of peace.

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