The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - October 1, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Indonesia – Update (October 1, 2018)

◢  Death of Antoine Sfeir – Statement by Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian (October 1, 2018)

◢  Turkey – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Mevlüt Çavusoğlu (Paris - September 30, 2018)

◢  Iceland – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thórdarson (Paris -October 1, 2018)

◢  European Union – Citizens' consultations, visit by Nathalie Loiseau to Côte-d'Or (October 1, 2018)

◢  International trade – WTO Public Forum (Geneva, - October 2, 2018)

◢  Israel – Release of Salah Hamouri (September 30, 2018)

 
Indonesia – Update (October 1, 2018)

Since the earthquake in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, the crisis center of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has been working to help our compatriots and to provide any necessary assistance to the Indonesian authorities while searches continue on the ground.

No French citizens have been identified from among the victims in the lists released today by Indonesian officials. Searches turned up three of our compatriots whom we had not heard from in Palu. Our embassy in Jakarta is working with Indonesian officials to organize their evacuation. Their families have been informed.

We ask French citizens who had planned to travel to the disaster area to postpone their trips and regularly consult our travel advisories.



Death of Antoine Sfeir – Statement by Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian (October 1, 2018)

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Antoine Sfeir. A journalist, writer, teacher and political scientist, he had become a familiar face and voice to the French, for whom he illuminated the Arab and Muslim world with erudition. He was appreciated not only for his expertise but also for his open, generous character.

Antoine Sfeir's career was divided between the two shores of the Mediterranean. He had worked for the foreign service of the Lebanese French-language newspaper L'Orient Le Jour, and in France had founded the magazine Les Cahiers de l'Orient, which facilitates understanding of that region. His work will continue to inspire generations of international relations specialists and those who are interested in the topic.

I offer my condolences to his family and loved ones.



Turkey – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Mevlüt Çavusoğlu (Paris - September 30, 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian hosted his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavusoğlu, at the Quai d'Orsay yesterday.

For the most part, their meeting focused on Syria. Mr. Le Drian expressed his support for the Sochi agreement of September 17, which established a demilitarized zone in the Idlib region and has so far made it possible to avoid an offensive by the regime and its allies. Generally speaking, he urged his counterpart to continue the effort of bringing the positions of the Small Group and the Astana Group closer together. The ministers shared their views on the need for progress in the search for a negotiated political solution, especially the rapid establishment of the Constitutional Committee that UN secretary-generalís special envoy, Staffan de Mistura, worked on.

The ministers also discussed Libya and reaffirmed their support for UN secretary-general Ghassam Salamé's roadmap, as well as the need to move toward transparent, peaceful and well prepared elections as swiftly as possible.



Iceland – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thórdarson (Paris -October 1, 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian hosted his Icelandic counterpart, Gudlaugur Thor Thórdarson, this morning.

The ministers shared their common views on the future of multilateralism and the importance of reforming the WTO in this regard. They also discussed issues related to the British withdrawal from the EU and reviewed cooperation between Iceland and the EU in connection with the European Economic Area, especially with respect to fishing.

The ministers called for continuing our shared cooperation on the climate and the environment, especially in the area of geothermal energy and on the Arctic Council.

Lastly, Mr. Le Drian and Mr. Thórdarson discussed the security situation in the Northeast Atlantic. They stressed the importance of cooperating on maritime security and sea rescues.



European Union – Citizens' consultations, visit by Nathalie Loiseau to Côte-d'Or (October 1, 2018)

Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs will visit the Côte-d'Or department on October 1, at the invitation of Senator François Patriat.

The minister will take part in a citizens' consultation on Europe organized by the Institut National Supérieur des Sciences Agronomiques, de l'Alimentation et de l'Environnement de Dijon at 10:30 am. She will notably exchange views with the public on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is a major asset for our farms and one of the instruments of European sovereignty.

The consultations will provide an opportunity for the minister to underscore France's attachment to the CAP, to reaffirm our complete opposition to the cuts proposed by the Commission to the CAP budget. This policy must have the necessary means to address the challenges facing European agriculture and to modernize in order to protect farmers from climate hazards and the volatility of global markets, to support the necessary environmental transition of agriculture and to facilitate the development of agricultural and agrifood businesses.



International trade – WTO Public Forum (Geneva, - October 2, 2018)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will travel to Geneva on October 2 to take part in the WTO Public Forum which brings together more than 1,500 representatives from civil society, academia, the business world, the media, governments, the parliamentary community and intergovernmental organizations to debate the regulation of world trade and propose solutions to strengthen the multilateral trade system.

He will open the round table organized by France, Canada and the International Chamber of Commerce on compliance with the commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement by the international trade system, as well as on its contribution to the transition toward a low-carbon economy in line with President Macron's commitment, reaffirmed during his speech on September 25 at the UN General Assembly, to link our trade commitments to respect for environmental and social constraints. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will also reaffirm the France-Canada partnership on the environment and climate signed on April 17, 2018, to implement free-trade that will support climate change objectives.

The minister of state will also take part in a high-level panel with Roberto Azevêdo, WTO Director-General, and Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, within the framework of the partnership between the two organizations.

The minister of state will meet with the WTO director-general to discuss ways to modernize the organization and its rules proposed by the EU, with France's full support.



Israel – Release of Salah Hamouri (September 30, 2018)

France welcomes the release yesterday of our compatriot Salah Hamouri, on whose behalf President Macron and the minister for Europe and foreign affairs appealed to the Israeli prime minister.

The French consular authorities regularly visited our compatriot during the 13 months he was held under administrative detention.

We hope that Salah Hamouri's wife and son will have the right to travel to Jerusalem to be reunited with him.


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