The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - October 29, 2018
In this issue:

◢  United States – Attack against a synagogue in Pittsburgh - Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

◢  Ukraine – Visit by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (October 30, 2018)

◢  Mali – Attacks against MINUSMA (October 27, 2018)

◢  Tunis – Attack in Tunis (October 29, 2018)

◢  Turkey/ Syria

United States – Attack against a synagogue in Pittsburgh - Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

I utterly condemn the anti-Semitic attack carried out on Saturday against worshippers at the Tree Of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh during a religious service.

I went to the United States Embassy this afternoon to express France's solidarity with the American people at this difficult time. I extend my condolences to the victims' family and friends, and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

France reaffirms its condemnation of all forms of anti-Semitism as well as its determination to relentlessly combat this scourge all over the world. France and the United States stand side by side in their efforts to continue this fight.

Ukraine – Visit by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (October 30, 2018)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister for State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Kiev on October 30 in order to co-chair the France-Ukraine Joint Economic Commission alongside Gennadiy Zubko, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine.

This is the 7th edition of this Joint Economic Commission, the first since 2011. The commission will therefore be an important forum in terms of strengthening our bilateral economic relations, which have shown positive momentum for several years now. In 2017, France increased its exports to Ukraine by 18%. It remains the largest international employer in the country, with more than 160 French firms located there and France is the 4th largest investor in Ukraine, with almost 5% of FDI stock. Mr. Lemoyne will be accompanied by a delegation of French firms operating in the Ukrainian market and, during the meeting, will discuss the difficulties encountered by French firms, as well as the prospects for improving the business climate in Ukraine.

During this visit, the minister of state will have meetings with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and with Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will reaffirm France's commitment to resolving the Ukrainian conflict within the framework of the Normandy format and will call for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Within the framework of the forthcoming French presidency of the G7 in 2019, Mr. Lemoyne will discuss the importance of the reform process in Ukraine, notably with respect to the rule of law and good governance.

Mali – Attacks against MINUSMA (October 27, 2018)

France condemns the attack carried out against MINUSMA in Ber, in the Timbuktu region of Mali, on October 27, during which two Burkina Faso peacekeepers were killed and several others were injured.

We extend our condolences to the families of the soldiers who died and to the Burkina Faso authorities, and reaffirm our heartfelt appreciation for the courageous commitment of Burkina Faso soldiers within MINUSMA.

France reaffirms its determination to continue the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and its support for the efforts of MINUSMA to stabilize Mali and protect its civilian populations.

Tunis – Attack in Tunis (October 29, 2018)

France utterly condemns the attack - for which no one has at this stage claimed responsibility - which took place just before 2:00 pm today in downtown Tunis.

France expresses its wholehearted solidarity with the victims and the Tunisian people.

It pays tribute to the professionalism of the police force and the responsiveness of the emergency services. It reaffirms its support for the Tunisian authorities in the face of terrorism.

Turkey/ Syria

The day after the Istanbul summit, Turkey carried out bombing raids in northern Syria and is threatening to launch a new offensive. What is your response?

We are concerned by the Turkish bombing targeted yesterday against the northeastern part of Syria liberated from Daesh and in particular the Kobani region. We call on Turkey and all of the parties involved to exercise the utmost restraint.

As underscored by the heads of state and government of France, Germany, Russia and Turkey during the Quadrilateral Summit held on Saturday at Turkey’s invitation, there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. The means to stabilize Syria over the long term and guarantee its integrity and the security of its neighbors can only be found within the context of a political solution, in accordance with UNSCR 2254.

Our priority remains the fight against Daesh, which the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are continuing with our support..

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