The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - July 9, 2018
In this issue:

◢  The Netherlands – Meetings held by Jean-Yves Le Drian and Nathalie Loiseau with Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok (Paris - July 9, 2018)

◢  Balkans – Western Balkans Summit (London - July 10, 2018)

◢  Emergency diplomacy: a decade of commitment (July 10, 2018)

◢  Egypt

 
The Netherlands – Meetings held by Jean-Yves Le Drian and Nathalie Loiseau with Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok (Paris - July 9, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, will receive Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok today during his first visit to France in his current capacity.

This visit is taking place in the context of the close relations between France and the Netherlands, which give rise to regular exchanges at all levels. A French-Dutch seminar on European issues takes place regularly between our two countries.

As founding members of the European Communities, France and the Netherlands maintain constant dialogue on all European issues. The ministers will address issues relating to the Economic and Monetary Union, the Multiannual Financial Framework, the internal market, Brexit and migration issues, regarding which we must broaden our discussions. They will also discuss issues related to EU expansion, the rule of law and climate, regarding which we have similar positions.

The Netherlands is a key partner on many international issues and is participating in the work of the UN Security Council this year. The ministers will reaffirm the close cooperation between our two countries during discussions on key current issues: the forthcoming NATO summit, the fight against impunity and the proliferation of chemical weapons, nuclear disarmament matters (Iran, North Korea), as well as the external operations in which we are taking part together within the framework of the fight against terrorism and our common commitment in the Sahel region as well as the efforts to achieve a political solution in Syria and Libya.

As President Macron did so in St. Petersburg, the minister will also reaffirm France's full support for the international investigation led by the Netherlands on the destruction of flight MH17 in July 2014.

Lastly, Jean-Yves Le Drian will discuss the quality of our bilateral relations with the Netherlands and will notably re-examine the Quadripartite Meeting that brought together representatives from the Dutch and French governments, the overseas territory of Saint Martin and the government of Sint Maarten on June 28 in Paris, reflecting our excellent cooperation on the island following the passage of Hurricane Irma.



Balkans – Western Balkans Summit (London - July 10, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will represent President Macron at the annual summit of the Berlin Process devoted to the Western Balkans due to take place in London on July 10, which brings together 8 EU countries (Germany, Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom and Slovenia) and 6 Western Balkan countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia).

France has participated in this process since it was launched in 2014 and hosted the summit in 2016. The political dialogue initiated on this occasion between several EU member states and the Western Balkans countries, as well as the concrete projects launched in order revitalize trade, support young people and resolve bilateral disputes, contribute to the lasting stabilization, economic and social development and European rapprochement of this region.

The minister will discuss France's contribution to the fight against the trafficking of small arms and light weapons in the Western Balkans region thanks to a French-German initiative currently being implemented and, more broadly, our commitment, in cooperation with the countries of the region, to combating security threats. He will underscore France's support for reconciliation between the countries and people of the Western Balkans, notably through the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), established on the basis of the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ).

The minister will reaffirm France's position, which is in line with the conclusions of the European Council of June 28 and consists of acknowledging and fostering the European prospects of the Western Balkans. The opening of membership negotiations with these countries must take into account the progress that has to be made on certain points identified by the European Commission, on one hand, and the updating of the EU's operating rules, on the other.

Jean-Yves Le Drian will indicate our full support for the implementation of the agreement recently concluded between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia concerning the latter's name, and will call on Serb and Kosovar leaders to continue their efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement on normalizing their relations.



Emergency diplomacy: a decade of commitment (July 10, 2018)

The Crisis and Support Center (CDCS) of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is marking its 10th anniversary. It was established to professionalize crisis and aid operations, helping to better structure and coordinate consular and humanitarian missions under the Ministry's authority.

The Crisis Center helps assist French nationals in difficulty abroad and coordinates France's humanitarian support for foreign populations, particularly in natural disasters. Since 2015, the CDCS has also been responsible for the Interministerial Victims Aid Unit (CIAV), which deals with relations with the families of French and foreign victims in attacks on our soil. It was activated, for example, during the attacks on France in 2015 and 2016.

The CDCS wanted to share these 10 years of engagement on behalf of our compatriots abroad and of populations affected by crises worldwide by hosting, on July 10, a morning of first-person accounts and round tables. It will take place at the Quai d'Orsay and will be attended by the Center's employees, guests, and public and private partners. Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, minister of state attached to the minister, will speak on that occasion.

This event will be streamed on social networks, and a dedicated website (http://www.fdip.fr/10cdcs) will showcase the various aspects of the Center's mission.



Egypt

France and Egypt disagree on the results of the investigation of the Bureau d'Enquête et d'Analyse (BEA) on the crash of Paritaire flight MS804. Do you have any comment?

The Bureau d'Enquête et d'Analyse (BEA) published a press release reviewing the status of the investigation into the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804, which occurred on May 19, 2016.

The BEA is an independent authority that expresses itself on the basis of its own investigative and field work.

We hope these efforts can succeed with the full cooperation of the Egyptian authorities and will shed all light on the causes of this tragedy in which 66 people, including 15 of our fellow citizens, lost their lives. We owe it to their memory, and to their families and loved ones.


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