The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - June 25, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Ethiopia – Attack (Addis Ababa - June 23, 2018)

◢  Mali – Murder of civilians (June 25, 2018)

◢  Saudi Arabia – Missile fire on Riyadh

◢  Syria – Chemical weapons

Ethiopia – Attack (Addis Ababa - June 23, 2018)

France condemns the attack that left two dead and more than 150 injured during a public meeting on June 23 in Addis Ababa.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and extend our full solidarity to the Ethiopian people and government.

France applauds the reforming spirit of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, as well as his calls for national unity and reconciliation for all Ethiopians.

Mali – Murder of civilians (June 25, 2018)

France expresses its deep concern over the crimes, and particularly the numerous murders and kidnappings, committed in recent weeks against civilians in central Mali.

These acts demand a strong response by the Malian authorities. It is crucial for this response to be balanced, combining legal action, the prevention of new human rights violations, and the disarmament of all militias, as the government has pledged to do.

It is particularly important that allegations of the involvement of members of the Malian armed forces be swiftly investigated and that those responsible be tried and punished if these facts prove true, in accordance with the Malian government's commitments.

Saudi Arabia – Missile fire on Riyadh

France condemns the firing of several missiles by Houthi rebels at Saudi Arabia, and notably Riyadh, on June 24.

This attack, for which Houthi rebels claimed credit, is a new assault on Saudi Arabia's security and the stability of the region. The firing of missiles that deliberately target populated areas is unacceptable. It illustrates the seriousness of the threat that ballistic proliferation represents for the entire region, as set forth in the latest report by the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen.

France calls for the full implementation of the arms embargo established by UN Security Council resolution 2216 in 2015, an immediate end to the firing of missiles, and an end to all foreign assistance to Houthi rebels in this regard.

We reaffirm our support for and solidarity with Saudi Arabia. France will continue working to achieve a political solution to the crisis in Yemen that respects the aspirations of all members of its population.

Syria – Chemical weapons

On June 22, the Russian Foreign Ministry presented its assessment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)'s work on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Russia deems unfounded the conclusions of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) of the OPCW and the UN, which determined that the Syrian armed forces and security forces were responsible for four cases involving the use of chlorine and sarin in Syria. How do you respond to that?

For France, and for the majority of the world's nations, there is no doubt about the fact that Syria has used chemical weapons and toxic substances as weapons against its population since 2012.

The investigative mechanisms of the OPCW and the UN were established with Russia's agreement in 2015, and Russia approved their investigative methods. It has only disputed these methods since the mechanism issued its first conclusions in 2016.

France wishes to work with all its partners to reestablish the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, and to identify those responsible for using these weapons, in Syria and worldwide.

Together with other States, it proposes to reestablish a new mechanism for investigation and attribution at the OPCW for cases in which such weapons are used, the only way to independently establish the truthfulness of the facts, something Russia also desires. It will be one of the goals of the special session of the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapon Convention beginning on June 26 in The Hague.

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