The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - May 15, 2018
In this issue:

◢  China – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs (Paris - May 16, 2018)

◢  Germany – Visit by Nathalie Loiseau to Berlin (May 15, 2018)

◢  Ukraine

◢  Israel – Palestinian Territories

China – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs (Paris - May 16, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will receive his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, for a meeting and working dinner on May 16.

This meeting will provide an opportunity to make progress with respect to the implementation of the guidelines set out by the French and Chinese heads of state during President Macron's state visit to China from January 8 to 10, 2018. On the economic front, restoring our trade balance is the primary goal, as reaffirmed during the presidential visit. China is France's sixth largest trading partner, its eighth largest customer (France's has a market share of 1.6% in China) and its second largest supplier (China's has a market share of 9% in France).

The discussions will also provide an opportunity to address current international issues, notably the North Korean crisis, the Vienna agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the development of a Global Compact for the environment, the fight against terrorism as well as the strengthening of multilateralism, including in the area of trade.

Germany – Visit by Nathalie Loiseau to Berlin (May 15, 2018)

Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, is visiting Berlin on May 15 for a series of meetings focusing on the strengthening of bilateral cooperation and preparations for a new Elysée Treaty, as announced by President Macron and the German chancellor.

One day after the General Affairs Council on May 14, she will notably discuss with her counterpart, Michael Roth, preparations for the European Council in June, regarding which France and Germany are working on a draft roadmap. This meeting will be followed by a joint lunch together with Victor Negrescu, Romanian Minister for European Affairs, during which the three ministers will notably discuss the next Multiannual Financial Framework and the opportunities for the Romanian presidency of the European Council.

Nathalie Loiseau will present France's proposals on the future of the EU at the conference of German ambassadors in the EU countries and the Balkans.

Lastly, she will moderate, together with her German counterpart, a citizens' consultation on the future of Europe and will respond to questions asked by an audience of German high school students learning French, European students and French apprentices taking part in the Erasmus + program. This program allows apprentices to give a European dimension to their vocational training courses.


The mayor of Marignane traveled to Crimea and signed an agreement with the city of Yevpatoria. French elected officials are attending the opening of the Kerch Strait Bridge. Does the French government have any comment?

Our position is clear: the agreement signed by the municipality of Marignane does not reflect the position of the French government. Similarly, the attendance of French officials at the inauguration ceremony is a personal initiative that we regret; it is contrary to international law and the French authorities are not responsible for it.

France condemns Russia's construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge, which will contribute to depriving Ukraine of full access to and use of its internationally recognized territorial waters.

It remains strongly committed to reestablishing Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Calling its borders into question is contrary to international law, including the commitments made by the Russian Federation. It represents a direct threat to international peace and security and has serious repercussions on the international order. That is why the international community, the EU, and France do not recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Israel – Palestinian Territories

What is your comment on the White House statement that Hamas is responsible for the deaths of dozens of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army yesterday?

France deplores the large number of Palestinian civilian casualties in the Israeli crackdown on demonstrations going on in Gaza since March 30.

The French authorities' reactions to yesterday's events have been absolutely clear:

  • President Macron condemned the Israeli army's violence against demonstrators and called on all those responsible to show restraint and to de-escalate the situation. He also stressed the need for upcoming demonstrations to remain peaceful.
  • The minister for Europe and foreign affairs called on all actors to behave responsibly in order to prevent further unrest. He stressed the duty to protect civilians, especially minors, and the Palestinians' right to demonstrate peacefully. Nothing can justify the systematic use of real bullets against peaceful, unarmed demonstrators.

France will continue to work for a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in security within internationally recognized borders and Jerusalem as capital of both states.

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