The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - October 3, 2018
In this issue:

◢  United States – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (Washington - October 4-5, 2018)

◢  Iraq – Election of Barham Salih as President of the Republic

◢  Turkey

United States – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (Washington - October 4-5, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Washington from October 4 to 5.

During this visit, Jean-Yves Le Drian will continue his regular exchanges with his counterpart, Michael Pompeo. He will also meet with John Bolton, President Trump's national security adviser.

The minister will discuss with his interlocutors the major international issues on which our countries cooperate.

With respect to Iran, the minister will reaffirm that we share common concerns with the United States, with our approach based on exerting pressure on and negotiating with Iran. He will signal France's attachment to ensuring that Iran complies with all of its obligations under the JCPOA and our desire for discussions on the nuclear program beyond 2025-2030, as well as on the restriction of Iran's missile-related activities and on its regional role. Mr. Le Drian will discuss the situation of the European operators in the face of America's extraterritorial sanctions.

Following the ministerial meeting on Syria on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Jean-Yves Le Drian will discuss the situation in Idlib and the relaunching of the political process.

With respect to Libya, Jean-Yves Le Drian will underscore the importance of swiftly implementing the priorities identified during the ministerial meeting in New York last week. This means supporting the mediation efforts of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Ghassan Salamé and Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, imposing sanctions against those who impede the political process and making progress toward transparent, peaceful and well-prepared elections as swiftly as possible.

With respect to the Middle East, the minister will reaffirm that we must take action within the framework of international law, notably the Security Council resolutions, using negotiations as our method, with the goal remaining two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.

The minister will also discuss the fight against terrorism in Africa to which our two countries make a significant contribution. He will take stock of the scaling up of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, which demonstrated increased capabilities during the most recent operations. He will underscore the importance of continuing to mobilize the international community in support of the force.

Following the meeting of the Security Council chaired by Mr. Pompeo on North Korea, the minister will reaffirm our desire to make progress toward a solution that will make complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization possible. He will discuss President Macron's desire to renew the formats and ambitions of the G7 which France will chair in 2019, and the United States will chair in 2020, as well as our support for the EU's proposals to modernize the WTO.

France maintains close dialogue with the United States, based on mutual respect and trust. France and the United States are historical allies, as will be reaffirmed on November 11 during the commemorations to mark the end of World War I; the American president has announced that he will take part in these commemorations.

Iraq – Election of Barham Salih as President of the Republic

France congratulates Barham Salih on his election as President of the Republic of Iraq on October 2. It wishes him the utmost success in fulfilling his duties in the service of Iraq.

France also welcomes the appointment of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who has been tasked by the new President with forming a government.

Lastly, France applauds the smooth unfolding of the Kurdish regional elections on September 30 and hopes to see the swift formation of a regional government that will foster regional development and that of Iraq as a whole.

The smooth unfolding of the process to designate the new Iraqi authorities within the deadlines provided by the Constitution and one year after the military victory against Daesh testifies to Iraq's recovery.

France reiterates its commitment to a sovereign, unified, federal and democratic Republic of Iraq. It stands with the Republic of Iraq and with the Iraqi people in this crucial period for the country's future and will continue to support Iraq in its effort to combat terrorism, regain stability, bring about national reconciliation, and rebuild the country, in partnership with the new authorities.


What is France's reaction to yesterday's upholding on appeal of the life sentences of six Turkish journalists?

France is concerned by yesterday's upholding on appeal of the life sentences handed down to six Turkish journalists, including the brothers Ahmet and Mehmet Altan. As a reminder, Mehmet Altan had been provisionally released this past June in the wake of decisions by the Turkish Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

France will continue to follow subsequent developments in this case very closely. We call on Turkey once again to fully abide by its European and international commitments and to uphold the rule of law, freedom of the press, and the right of everyone to a fair trial.

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