The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - May 29, 2018
In this issue:

◢  European Parliament – Visit by Nathalie Loiseau to Strasbourg (May 29, 2018)

◢  New Zealand – Meeting between Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and David Parker (Paris - May 29, 2018)

◢  Syria – Meeting of the Syria Recovery Trust Fund (Paris - May 29-30, 2018)

◢  Israel - Palestinian Territories – Firing of rockets (May 29, 2018)

◢  United Nations – International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers (May 29, 2018)

European Parliament – Visit by Nathalie Loiseau to Strasbourg (May 29, 2018)

Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs is visiting Strasbourg on May 29 for the plenary session of the European Parliament.

During this session, the European Parliament will be notably called upon to confirm the agreement reached with the Council of Ministers of the European Union on the draft revision of the Posted Workers Directive. The adoption of the new directive is the result of efforts made by France over the past year to ensure fair competition in the internal market, to combat fraud and to strengthen the rights of posted workers. It is therefore an important step toward building a more protective Europe.

During her visit, Nathalie Loiseau will notably meet with Mairead McGuinness, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Daniel Caspary, Head of the German Delegation to the EPP, Janusz Lewandowski, Head of the Polish Delegation to the EPP and Co-Rapporteur on the reform of the own resources system, Eric Andrieu, Chair of the new Special Committee on Pesticides and Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists.

These meetings will focus on current European issues, notably the next Multiannual Financial Framework.

New Zealand – Meeting between Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and David Parker (Paris - May 29, 2018)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, met with David Parker, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, on the eve of the opening of the Meeting of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level, chaired by France, which is taking place on May 30 and 31.

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne thanked his counterpart for his commitment; New Zealand is the co-chair of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level which has the theme "Reshaping the foundations of multilateralism for more responsible, effective and inclusive outcomes."

The two ministers underscored the importance of open, rules-based trade and reaffirmed their commitment to inclusive and sustainable globalization, which takes full account of social and environmental responsibility, for the well-being of all our citizens. This cooperation is fully in line with the joint declaration adopted during the visit to France by Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

France and New Zealand enjoy long-standing close relations, based on the values forged on the battlefields during World War 1, and maintain regular dialogue on the international situation.

Syria – Meeting of the Syria Recovery Trust Fund (Paris - May 29-30, 2018)

France is hosting the steering group meetings of the Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF) from May 29 to 30. By financing the stabilization projects in the areas outside of the Damascus regime's control and the territories liberated from Daesh, the SRTF is helping to respond to the substantial needs of the populations with respect to food security, water and sanitation, waste management, healthcare, electricity, agriculture and education and to strengthen a credible alternative governance to the Damascus regime. France has provided €20 million in funding to the SRTF since 2014.

Through its active involvement within the SRTF, France demonstrates its humanitarian commitment in Syria, one of the components of which is its contribution to this fund. During the Brussels II conference on the future of Syria and the region on April 25, France reaffirmed its constant support for the Syrian people and the countries which have mobilized to receive refugees by announcing more than €1 billion in grants (€250 million) and loans (€850 million) for the period 2018-2020.

The Brussels II announcement includes the €50 million emergency response program for Syria announced on April 16 by President Macon. This additional effort will focus this year on emergency and medium-term actions that will directly benefit the Syrian populations.

This will be primarily aimed at the populations in northeastern Syria, because the stabilization of this area, where needs are considerable, notably with respect to mine clearance, healthcare, access to water and the recovery of the agricultural sector and the economy, is a challenge that must be addressed in order to allow the return of the displaced populations, as well as the long-term defeat of terrorism.

It will also provide an opportunity to respond to the humanitarian needs of the populations of northeastern Syria, especially the populations in the governorates of Idlib and Afrin, facilitating in particular access to medical care and other basic services, notably for the displaced persons.

Through these efforts, France demonstrates its determination to stand alongside the entire Syrian population. France's efforts are also focused on ways to achieve a political solution to the conflict, the only way to achieve sustainable peace in Syria, as provided for by UNSCR 2254.

Israel - Palestinian Territories – Firing of rockets (May 29, 2018)

The Israeli territory was targeted by rockets launched from the Gaza Strip on May 29. France condemns these unacceptable attacks, targeted against civilians, which fortunately did not result in any casualties. France's attachment to Israel's security is unwavering.

France condemns the use of violence, which is inconsistent with the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The relaunching of a credible political process requires all parties to renounce violence.

United Nations – International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers (May 29, 2018)

France lends its support to the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, which marks the 70th anniversary of the existence of UN peacekeepers this year.

On this occasion, it would like to pay tribute to the courage and dedication of these men and women who have served or are currently serving as peacekeepers around the world. Since the deployment of the first peacekeeping operation in 1948 in the Middle East, more than a million men and women have served on all continents, in more than 70 operations to promote peace and stabilization and protect populations. They have successfully completed their missions, in often very difficult conditions, in many theaters of operation, from Côte d'Ivoire to East Timor, El Salvador and Liberia, where UNMIL has just completed its mission. They save many lives everywhere and help restore calm and stability in hard-hit regions.

We also want to pay tribute to the memory of the more than 3,700 peacekeepers who have lost their lives under the UN flag while carrying out their missions to promote peace and protect populations. This includes 113 French citizens.

More than 800 French personnel are now involved in UN peacekeeping operations, notably as part of UNIFIL (Lebanon).

France remains the fifth largest financial contributor to peacekeeping operations. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council our country also helps define demanding and innovative mandates aimed at ensuring the full effectiveness of these operations.

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