The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - October 12, 2018
In this issue:

◢  EU – Jean-Yves Le Drian attending Foreign Affairs Council (October 15, 2018)

◢  Holy See – Canonization of Pope Paul VI (October 14, 2018)

◢  EU – Visit to Bordeaux by Nathalie Loiseau (October 12, 2018)

◢  Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

EU – Jean-Yves Le Drian attending Foreign Affairs Council (October 15, 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will attend the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on October 15.

Libya. The ministers will discuss the situation in Libya after the ministerial meeting held at France's behest on September 24 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and ahead of the Palermo conference that Italy will host on November 12-13, and which France supports. Mr. Le Drian will stress the importance of implementing the priorities identified at the ministerial meeting in New York: support for the mediation effort by the UN secretary-general's special representative, Ghassan Salamé; backing for Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj; sanctions against those who obstruct the political process; and the need to move forward as swiftly as possible toward transparent, peaceful, well-prepared elections, in line with the Paris conference.

CAR. At France's request and amid the growing influence of foreign actors, the ministers will discuss the situation in the Central African Republic. The minister will call for strengthened EU action alongside that of the African Union, the countries in the region and the UN, to support the country's stabilization and the restoration of State authority. This will include support for Central African domestic security forces in addition to the EU's already considerably support for the Central African armed forces via EUTM RCA. All European partners must mobilize to help this country.

Migration. The ministers will discuss the external aspects of migration, following up on the European Council of June 28 and ahead of the European Council of October 18, at which this issue will again be discussed. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Grandi, and the new director general of the International Organization for Migration, Mr. Vitorino, will take part in these discussions. The minister will restate the fact that a European response, which must be responsible and characterized by solidarity, is essential to respond to migratory challenges. He will call for strengthening cooperation with third countries as part of a comprehensive approach to migration and for shared responsibility between countries of origin, transit and destination. Capacity-building in third countries, the fight against human trafficking, a European commitment to resettlement, cooperation on readmission, as well as the long-term need for an ambitious partnership between the EU and Africa, will be among the topics discussed. France will also reaffirm the importance of European nations' support for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which will be adopted in Marrakech this December.

Venezuela. The ministers will discuss the situation in that country and the EU's response to the political, economic and migratory crisis Venezuela is experiencing. The minister will ask the EU to maintain its firm stance toward attacks on fundamental rights and its active support for a negotiated solution in coordination with international and regional partners.

At France’s initiative, the Council will adopt a European sanctions regime against proliferation and the use of chemical weapons.

Holy See – Canonization of Pope Paul VI (October 14, 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will be at the Vatican on October 14 to represent France at the mass where seven blesseds will be canonized including Pope Paul VI, who had close ties with our country's major intellectuals. Paul VI implemented the great reforms of the Second Vatican Council and strove for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

At a luncheon after the mass, the minister will meet with French prelates, members of the Roman Curia and four French bishops who are delegates to the Synod of Bishops on young people, currently meeting in Rome for discussions on major international challenges, interreligious dialogue, the ongoing reform of the Curia and bioethical issues ahead of the Estates General of Bioethics.

EU – Visit to Bordeaux by Nathalie Loiseau (October 12, 2018)

European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau will be in Bordeaux on October 12 at the invitation of the city's mayor, Alain Juppé. She will take part in a citizen consultation on Europe dealing with the expectations of young people vis-à-vis the EU, hosted by the Kedge Business School, as part of Erasmus Days.

She will also visit the Lycée Gustave Eiffel for a conversation with Erasmus participants who took part in the program as part of their university studies or as part of their vocational training.

This year's Erasmus Days are being held on October 12 and 13 at the initiative of the Erasmus agencies of some 20 countries (EU and non-EU) where the Erasmus+ program exists. More than 1,300 events are scheduled to mark the 31st successful year of this program, which embodies the values of diversity and openness that are indelibly linked with the EU.

In his speech at the Sorbonne in September 2017, President Macron had proposed that by 2024, half of those under age 25 should spend at least six months in another European country, either as a student or as an apprentice. In this regard, France hopes to double the Erasmus budget proposed by the European Commission for the period of 2021-2027.

Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul on October 2 is giving rise to serious questions about his fate. France asks that the facts be clearly established and that all those who can contribute to determining the truth cooperate fully. It is this message that we have conveyed to the Saudi authorities. The accusations against them call for transparency on their part and a full, detailed response.

Defending the freedom of the press and freedom of expression as well as the protection of journalists are priorities for France, as nearly 800 journalists have been killed worldwide while exercising their profession or because of that profession over the past 10 years according to RSF, with 90% of the crimes committed against journalists receiving no judicial follow-up.

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