The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - October 22, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Development – Meeting of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (Paris October 23, 2018)

◢  Palestinian Territories – Suspension of the demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar

◢  North Korea – New designations by the UN's 1718 Sanctions Committee

◢  Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Parliamentary vote on October 19, 2018

◢  Saudi Arabia

◢  United States – Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

 
Development – Meeting of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (Paris October 23, 2018)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will chair the 14th plenary meeting of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (CNDSI), tomorrow (October 23).

While France has embarked on a path that should lead to the allocation of 0.55% of its GNI to Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 2022, President Macron confirmed his desire for a new Framework and Planning Bill [loi d'orientation et de programmation] in order to give predictability to this path and to implement a new method with a strengthened partnership dimension.

The CNDSI session on October 23 will provide an opportunity to further examine new ODA approaches. Member of the National Assembly Hervé Berville will present the proposals that emerged from the report that he submitted in August to the prime minister, in which he stresses the need to more closely involve civil society, youth, companies, and diaspora communities in order to modernize France's partnership and international solidarity policy. This session will make it possible to get feedback from 53 figures from the CNDSI, NGO representatives, unions, employers, economic stakeholders, local and regional governments, universities and research centers, parliamentarians and prominent foreign officials.

This discussion is part of a broader process of consultation with civil society stakeholders on the revision of the Framework and Planning Bill, to which an extraordinary session of the CNDSI will be devoted on November 15.

Furthermore, in response to the input of civil society organizations during the CNDSI session on June 20, and in the interest of transparency in the upcoming multilateral events, this session will provide an opportunity to take stock of preparations for the French presidency of the G7 in 2019, the fall meetings of the World Bank and the IMF, the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in its development configuration, and to present the calendar of strategic deadlines of the multilateral development banks, before a specific CNDSI session is devoted to these topics in 2019.



Palestinian Territories – Suspension of the demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar

France takes note of the decision by the Israeli prime minister to postpone the demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar (West Bank). France, in collaboration with its European partners, has repeatedly called on the Israeli authorities not to proceed with the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar and the forced evacuation of its inhabitants.

We call on the Israeli authorities to permanently abandon their plans to demolish Khan al-Ahmar and to remove the uncertainty surrounding the fate of this village, which is located in an area that is key to the contiguity of a future Palestinian state and therefore the viability of the two-state solution.



North Korea – New designations by the UN's 1718 Sanctions Committee

France applauds the UN 1718 Sanctions Committee's designation of three ships involved in the transshipment of oil for North Korea in violation of Security Council resolutions. These are the UN's first designations since March 30. France reaffirms its concern over the increasingly elaborate strategies adopted by North Korea to circumvent sanctions, as reflected in several reports by the UN Panel of Experts. We also give credence to analyses showing that North Korea has exceeded the annual cap for importing refined petroleum products authorized by UN Security Council resolutions. We reiterate our full support for the Panel of Experts and our commitment to its independence.

In this connection, France calls for the effective implementation of international sanctions, which were decisive in bringing North Korea to the negotiating table. The unity of the international community remains vital in this regard. We offer our support for current diplomatic processes and call on North Korea to implement concrete, specific measures to bring about full, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization in accordance with Security Council resolutions.



Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Parliamentary vote on October 19, 2018

France is pleased to note the vote by the Parliament of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on October 19, which received the required two-thirds majority, to open the examination phase for constitutional amendments in order to implement the Prespa agreement reached on June 17 by Athens and Skopje.

France hopes that Parliamentary discussions lead to the amendment of the Constitution. As President Macron noted, the Prespa agreement is good for the country, good for the region, and good for Europe



Saudi Arabia

Is France prepared to follow Germany in suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia as long as uncertainty remains over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi?

Our arms sale policy is strict and based on a case-by-case analysis by the Interministerial Commission for the Study of Military Equipment Exports. Weapons exports to Saudi Arabia are examined within that framework.



United States – Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Russian-American Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Nuclear Missiles (INF). How do you assess this declaration? What consequences might this decision have?

President Macron reminded President Trump of the importance France ascribes to this treaty, in particular for European security and our strategic stability.

France attributes great importance to conventional and nuclear arms control instruments. The Allies' concern over the very likely Russian violation and the lack of transparency on Russia's implementation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was reaffirmed at the NATO summit this past July. We are in close contact with our close partners concerning the American announcement of their withdrawal from the treaty. U.S.-Russian consultations took place again this week. We call on all the parties to avoid any hasty unilateral decisions, which would be regrettable.



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