The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - May 14, 2018
In this issue:

◢  European Union – Nathalie Loiseau's participation in the General Affairs Council (Brussels - May 14, 2018)

◢  Iraq – Parliamentary elections (May 12, 2018)

◢  High-Level Political Meeting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (Paris - May 15-16, 2018)

◢  Indonesia – Attacks (May 13 and 14, 2018)

◢  Iran

European Union – Nathalie Loiseau's participation in the General Affairs Council (Brussels - May 14, 2018)

Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, is taking part in the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, which will include the following main points:

1. Budget:

- The ministers will hold a preliminary exchange of views on the draft Multiannual Financial Framework presented by the European Commission for the period 2021-2027. Nathalie Loiseau will express France's disagreement with the drastic reduction in the direct payments under the Common Agricultural Policy proposed by the Commission.

- At the same time, she will welcome some of the improvements contained in this draft: a clearer structure, providing a fresh response to the collective challenges facing the EU, notably in terms of migration, security and defense, as well as environmental challenges; greater support for innovation, the digital sector and research as well as youth mobility. The minister will call on the EU to take a more ambitious approach, notably with respect to the scrapping of rebates and the creation of new own resources.

2. Preparations for the European Council in June:

- The ministers will prepare for the European Council scheduled to take place from June 28 to 29. Nathalie Loiseau will reaffirm that this summit must maintain an ambitious momentum one year ahead of the forthcoming European elections, notably with respect to the guidelines for the future of the Economic and Monetary Union.

- The minister will also call on the European Council to provide clear guidelines with respect to defense initiatives as well as the digital strategy and support for innovation.

3. Rule of law in Poland:

The ministers will review the rule of law situation in Poland. In a joint statement with Germany, the minister will reaffirm our two countries’ support for the work of the Commission and will call for the adoption, as soon as possible, by Poland of measures to address the rule of law concerns in the country.

4. Other topics:

- Nathalie Loiseau will then take part in a lunch during which the ministers will discuss the main challenges in the run-up to the European elections in 2019.

- Lastly, the minister will take part in the General Affairs Council Article 50 session which will include all 27 members to prepare for the UK's exit. On the basis of a presentation by EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, the ministers will review the progress achieved in the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement.

Iraq – Parliamentary elections (May 12, 2018)

France welcomes the holding of parliamentary elections in Iraq on May 12. Following the military successes against Daesh over the last few months, these elections are an important step toward strengthening democracy in Iraq. We also pay tribute to the efforts of the Iraqi forces which provided security at the polling stations and allowed the Iraqi people to exercise their rights.

It will be the responsibility of the elected assembly and the next government to continue along the path toward reconciliation, stabilization and reconstruction, in the context of a united Iraq that respects its diversity.

France would like to continue strengthening its partnership with Iraq and stands ready to help it overcome the challenges of stabilization and reconstruction facing the country. It will notably continue to stand alongside the Iraqi people in the fight against terrorism

High-Level Political Meeting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (Paris - May 15-16, 2018)

On May 15-16, France will host the High-Level Political Meeting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which marks its 15th anniversary this year.

The PSI is a flexible mechanism incorporating 105 countries whose aim is to prevent the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and goods used in their production. It aims to establish and strengthen effective operational cooperation between participating states to combat the flows of such items by sea, air, and land.

Through this initiative, countries participating in the PSI – including France – have coordinated to carry out numerous interceptions of illegal proliferation-related cargoes over the past 15 years, thereby concretely helping to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, in keeping with international law.

France reaffirms its commitment to the PSI and to the results obtained by this initiative in combating proliferation, and in particular, to the relevant Security Council resolutions.

Indonesia – Attacks (May 13 and 14, 2018)

France condemns the attacks on several churches and a police headquarters in the city of Surabaya on May 13 and 14.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families.

France stands with Indonesia at this difficult time and reaffirms its support for that country in the fight against terrorism.


On Sunday, American National Security Advisor John Bolton did not rule out sanctions on European companies doing business with Iran. Have you received further clarification from the U.S. about any potential new sanctions?

The Iranian nuclear agreement, which was endorsed by the UN Security Council, remains in effect. France regrets the American decision to withdraw from it. It does not share that decision. Like all of the other parties, it remains in the agreement. Together with its European partners, it will continue to implement its commitments on the lifting of sanctions as long as Iran continues to rigorously implement its own obligations on the nuclear issue.

France rejects the principle of extraterritorial sanctions. We ask the United States to ensure that sanctions do not apply to French and European companies that trade with Iran or invest there, in keeping with the nuclear agreement. France is acting to protect its companies. Together with its European partners it has established contacts with Washington on this issue.

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke out clearly on this subject. Tomorrow he and Bruno Le Maire, minister of the economy and finance, will meet with French companies that do business in Iran. In the evening, he will meet in Brussels with the German and British foreign ministers, the EU High Representative, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

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