The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - August 22, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Mali – Statement issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

◢  Pakistan – Election of Imran Khan as Prime Minister (August 20, 2018)

◢  Situation of Oleg Sentsov

◢  Israel – Death of Uri Avnery

◢  Russia – Business France

Mali – Statement issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Following the certification by the constitutional court of the results of the second round of the presidential elections in Mali, France welcomes the re-election of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as president of the Republic of Mali.

I would like to pay tribute to the Malian people for their commitment to the organization, security and supervision of the ballot. The Malian people notably demonstrated that they were not going to allow themselves to be intimidated by terrorist acts. France commends the significant contribution of the various election observation missions and MINUSMA to the smooth holding of the election.

This election is an important milestone in the stabilization and political and economic recovery of Mali, which continues to face the challenges of terrorism, insecurity and development; the seriousness of these challenges now calls for unity and national reconciliation as a matter of urgency.

As President Macron reaffirmed to his counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, France remains committed alongside the Malian authorities and people, as well as their partners, to ensuring Mali's security and development. It will continue to support the swift implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation, building on the progress achieved over the last few months, as well as the re-establishment of state presence throughout the territory.

Pakistan – Election of Imran Khan as Prime Minister (August 20, 2018)

France congratulates Imran Khan on his election as Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and wishes him well in his new office.

Pakistan and France have longstanding ties of friendship that we want to continue expanding as part of a candid, constructive dialogue on all topics of common interest.

Situation of Oleg Sentsov

France reiterates its concern over the dangerous deterioration in the health of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is imprisoned in Russia and has begun the 100th day of his hunger strike.

President Macron raised this issue during his telephone conversation with the Russian President on August 10 and called for an urgent humanitarian solution. We strongly reiterate that appeal.

Israel – Death of Uri Avnery

We were saddened to learn of the death of journalist Uri Avnery.

France offers his family and loved ones its sincere condolences. A three-time member of the Knesset and founder, in 1993, of the organization Gush Shalom ("The Peace Bloc"), Uri Avnery was a committed promoter of friendship between peoples and of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

His voice will be missed.

Russia – Business France

Why was it decided to close Business France in Russia?

The Russian authorities notified us that Business France was no longer authorized to operate in Russia under provisions set forth in French law. In these circumstances, Business France could no longer carry out its mission of providing support to French companies on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Nevertheless, Business France will continue to provide full public support for exports to Russia, where it will conclude agreements with private local actors to assist our companies. As for the countries that had been covered by the Moscow office, other Business France offices abroad will step in.

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