The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - October 5, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (October 5, 2018)

◢  Indonesia – French humanitarian assistance for the region of Palu (October 5, 2018)

◢  Syria

Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (October 5, 2018)

I warmly congratulate Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad Basee Taha who were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for their efforts to put an end to sexual violence as a strategy of war.

Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, founded the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 40,000 female victims of rape and mutilation have been able to access medical care. His commitment to sexual and reproductive rights and health has made him a powerful advocate for women's rights. France has supported Dr. Mukwege's foundation in the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 10 years, notably through the French Development Agency, a cooperation agreement between the Panzi Hospital and Angers University Hospital, and the funding of cooperation between the Panzi Hospital and Hôpitaux Sud de Paris (University Hospital of Melun), as well as with Avicenne Hospital. He was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2011.

Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist, is a survivor of Daesh captivity. In 2016, the United Nations appointed her Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. She demonstrates courage and an exceptional level of commitment and, as I notably expressed to her when I received her last year, she can count on France's support for the Yazidi community, especially in the areas of mine-clearance, the fight against impunity, education and health.

France has made gender equality the great cause of the five-year term. It is the guiding principle of our external action within the framework of our foreign policy which we intend to be strongly feminist.

Violence against women and girls is the most prevalent form of human rights violation in the world. Dr. Mukwege and activist Nadia Murad have tackled this real scourge with energy, perseverance and courage. France is delighted that the bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize means that their commitment is now receiving the global recognition that it deserves.

Indonesia – French humanitarian assistance for the region of Palu (October 5, 2018)

Following the earthquake and tsunami that hit the region of Palu on the island of Sulawesi on September 28, Indonesia launched an appeal for international assistance on October 2, notably by activating the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

As President Macron pledged, France mobilized its efforts to respond to the specific and detailed needs expressed by the Indonesian authorities.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs crisis and support center is coordinating the delivery of humanitarian cargo and personnel to the affected area, including 43 sécurité civile [emergency services] firefighters/rescue personnel and Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs personnel.

A plane carrying humanitarian cargo will depart from France on Saturday at noon.

This humanitarian cargo includes a large water treatment unit, supplied and operated by the Ministry of the Interior's sécurité civile [emergency services]. It will be deployed to the region of Palu to supply drinking water to 80,000 people per day, thereby covering almost half of total drinking water needs indicated by the Indonesian authorities.

It will also include 18 generators provided by Electricians without Borders (ESF) and the Crisis and Support Center, as well as water purification units provided by the Veolia Foundation and the Fondation Suez-Aquassistance, as part of a humanitarian partnership agreement they signed with the Ministry's Crisis and Support Center on December 19, 2017.

Water purification tablets donated by the NGO Secours Islamique France complete this humanitarian aid shipment, which was put together in accordance with specific requests by the Indonesian authorities.


Hello. Ms. Merkel and Mr. Erdogan implied that there could be a Russian-Turkish-French-German summit in the coming weeks to talk about Syria. When and where could such a meeting take place? What is your view of the Turkish-Russian agreement on Idlib?

France is pursuing two immediate objectives with respect to the situation in Idlib: to avoid an offensive by the regime and its allies, which would cause a humanitarian, migratory and security crisis with intolerable consequences for the region and for Europe; and to create the conditions for reviving a political process, which remains the only path toward a sustainable resolution of the Syrian crisis.

For that purpose, France is working to prevent an attack on that area, which houses 3 million civilians, whether within the UN Security Council; alongside Germany, Turkey, and Russia at the quadrilateral meeting of September 14 in Istanbul; or by reiterating its determination to respond harshly to the use of chemical weapons by the Damascus regime. In this regard, France calls for all parties to fully abide by the Sochi agreement, especially the Damascus regime and its allies, and for it to provide a guarantee of a lasting ceasefire in the Idlib region.

Furthermore, France is calling for the constitutional committee formed under the auspices of the UN to be convened in a timely fashion, as underscored in the joint declaration published after the Small Group ministerial meeting held at France's initiative on September 27 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. It underscored this demand at the quadrilateral meeting of diplomatic advisors in Istanbul and is hoping it can count on the full support of Russia and the Astana guarantors for the launch of this committee nine months after the Sochi conference that announced its establishment.

France is committed to establishing the conditions for a rapprochement among the most influential countries with a view to resolving the Syrian crisis, particularly the Small Group and the Astana Group, which must guarantee a just and lasting political solution to the Syrian crisis consistent with Resolution 2254.

What is France's reaction to the deployment of Russian S300 missiles in Syria?

France is concerned by Russia's delivery of sophisticated anti-aircraft capacities benefiting the Syrian regime.

This delivery comes a few days after a serious incident caused by the Syrian anti-aircraft defense that took the lives of 15 Russian soldiers.

Amid regional tensions, Russia's delivery of such equipment is contributing to the risk of a military escalation and to undermining prospects for a political resolution to the Syrian crisis.

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