The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - August 24, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Ambassadors' Conference – 26th edition (August 27-31, 2018)

◢  Comoros – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Comoros counterpart Mohamed El-Amine Souef (August 23, 2018)

◢  Libya – Terrorist attack against the Government of National Accord (August 23, 2018)

◢  Palestinian Territories – Settlement activities

 
Ambassadors' Conference – 26th edition (August 27-31, 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will convene the ambassadors for their annual conference from Monday, August 27, to Friday, August 31. The theme of this 26th edition – "Alliances, values and interests in today's world" – will guide them in their work on the priorities and role played by French diplomacy in defending our interests and promoting our values in a shifting geopolitical context, within the framework of our European and international alliances, which are being subjected to increasing challenges.

The conference will be structured around speeches by the President, the Prime Minister, and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

On Monday, August 27, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will launch the "One Ambassador – One Entrepreneur – One Region" economic forums. These will take the form of 15-minute meetings between the ambassadors and more than 400 company representatives. At the minister's request, on August 31, more than 110 heads of post will meet with public and private economic actors in 11 metropolitan areas. These trips are in keeping with the overhaul of the export development program carried out in close cooperation with the regions, which are now responsible for their companies' international expansion strategies.

Throughout the week, Jean-Yves Le Drian, European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau, and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will take part in discussions and working sessions dealing with:

  • Concrete actions to serve our fellow citizens: the missions of embassies and consulates, especially in countries in a state of crisis; the protection of French citizens abroad; support for exports; and France's appeal to investors and others;
  • Major European issues
  • Security and defense issues
  • Multilateralism and preparations for the French G7 presidency
  • Sustainable development and the fight against climate disruption
  • Responses to new challenge such as the manipulation of information and cyberattacks.

Various aspects of France's actions abroad will be discussed with experts, civil society actors, and members of the government: Interior Minister Gérard Collomb; Nicolas Hulot, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition; Brune Poirson, Minister of State attached to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition; Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly; Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud; National Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer; and Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

Mr. Le Drian will close the conference on August 29 after a speech by his guest and Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland, whose country currently holds the G7 presidency.

This annual meeting represents a key moment for the French diplomatic corps; it is an opportunity for France's highest officials to present the approaches and priorities that will guide the country's representatives abroad and at international organizations in their work throughout the coming year. It also allows the heads of diplomatic posts to speak to one another and share their experiences, and to have discussions with elected officials, experts and private sector representatives.

Some of these events will be livestreamed on the France Diplomatie site, https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/evenements-et-actualites-du-ministere/conference-des-ambassadeurs-et-des-ambassadrices/xxvie-conference-des-ambassadeurs-et-des-ambassadrices-2018-27-31-aout-2018/, and on social networks using the hashtag #ConfAmbass.



Comoros – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Comoros counterpart Mohamed El-Amine Souef (August 23, 2018)

The minister for Europe and foreign affairs received his Comoros counterpart, Mohamed El-Amine Souef, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophonie, in charge of Comorians abroad, on August 23.

The situation brought about on March 21 by the Comoros decision to no longer admit its nationals who have entered Mayotte illegally was the focus of the discussions aimed at making progress toward a lasting resolution between our two countries that will take into account the human impact on the population and security considerations in the department of Mayotte.

The strengthening of efforts to combat the networks of traffickers of human beings was also addressed. In this respect, the minister for Europe and foreign affairs took careful note of the decision published on July 31 by the Comoros Ministry for Transport prohibiting the use of unsuitable vessels to transport passengers and expressed our willingness to support its full implementation in order to strengthen the security of both our countries and our nationals. He reaffirmed our willingness to increase support for the coastguard and other Comoran forces involved in monitoring these irregular departures.

The prospects for renewed cooperation, focusing primarily on development activities to benefit young Comorans, as well on internal security, should help resolve the issue of the illegal movement of people between the Union of the Comoros and Mayotte.

The two ministers agreed to continue their dialogue over the coming weeks.



Libya – Terrorist attack against the Government of National Accord (August 23, 2018)

France condemns the terrorist attack carried out on August 23 against the forces affiliated with the Government of National Accord in the town of Ki'am between Tripoli and Misrata. We extend our condolences to the bereaved.

France stands alongside all Libyan forces fighting against terrorism.

In follow up to the meeting in Paris on May 29, France will continue, together with its international partners, to support the efforts of the Libyan people and UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé to help restore stability to Libya.



Palestinian Territories – Settlement activities

France condemns the new decisions taken by the Israeli authorities aimed at allowing the construction of several thousand homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

These decisions, as well as the demolition and evacuations affecting the Palestinian populations in Area C, and in particular Area E1, are part of the same strategy that directly threatens the viability of a future Palestinian state.

France calls on the Israeli authorities to reconsider these decisions and to abandon this settlement strategy in order to preserve the two-state solution with Jerusalem as the capital, to which France reaffirms its attachment.


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