The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - November 6, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Environment – Failure of projects to create marine protected areas in the southern oceans at the 37th meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

◢  Bahrain – Conviction of Ali Salman

◢  Turkey – Syria

◢  Pakistan – Situation of Asia Bibi

 
Environment – Failure of projects to create marine protected areas in the southern oceans at the 37th meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

France regrets that the 37th meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), held from October 22 to November 2 in Hobart, Australia, concluded with the failure of projects to create marine protected areas in the southern oceans aimed at protecting biodiversity and ecosystems and boosting the resilience of marine flora and fauna to the effects of climate change.

The project in East Antarctica, which was supported by France, the EU, and Australia and approved by the CCAMLR's Scientific Committee in 2012, has since then been regularly rejected because of Russian and Chinese opposition. The same is true for the Weddell Sea project supported by the EU, which was also approved by the Scientific Committee in 2016.

The IPCC's recent report stressed the urgency of the situation in the face of climate change. France will continue to promote the adoption of a network of marine protected areas in the southern oceans, which is vital to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and especially to meeting the goal of sustainable development as it relates to the conservation and sustainable exploitation of oceans, seas, and marine resources.



Bahrain – Conviction of Ali Salman

France expresses its concern over the situation of Ali Salman, who was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole by the country's Appeal Court. Mr. Salman had served as secretary-general of the Al-Wefaq Society, the main Bahraini opposition force that was dissolved in 2016.

With Bahraini elections scheduled for November 24, France emphasizes the importance of an inclusive, representative, pluralistic political system in Bahrain, and its full commitment to respecting human rights.



Turkey – Syria

Turkey has continued to launch airstrikes in recent days against northeastern Syria, despite your calls for restraint. How do you plan to convince the Turks?

We reiterate our deep concern following recent Turkish airstrikes in northeastern Syria, which left several dead. Once again we call on Turkey and all involved parties to show the utmost restraint and we support efforts to deescalate the situation, in particular those undertaken by the United States.

With Daesh engaging in a large-scale counter-offensive in northeastern Syria, we stress the priority of pursuing the campaign against that terrorist organization. The Syrian Democratic Forces are making a decisive contribution to this fight, with the support of the international coalition against Daesh.

As emphasized by the heads of state and government of France, Germany, Russia and Turkey at the Istanbul summit, there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. Only a political solution consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 will provide the means to stabilize Syria in a lasting manner and to guarantee its integrity and the security of its neighbors.



Pakistan – Situation of Asia Bibi

Is France prepared to offer asylum to Asia Bibi?

France welcomed the decision of the Pakistani Supreme Court to acquit Asia Bibi. We are closely monitoring her situation. Along with our European and international partners, we are examining what form of support or welcome might be provided to her and her family, based on their expressed wishes.


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