The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - November 26, 2018
In this issue:

◢  India – Commemoration of the Mumbai attacks (November 26-29, 2008)

◢  Incidents in the Sea of Azov (November 25, 2018)

◢  Libya – Terrorist attack (November 23, 2018)

India – Commemoration of the Mumbai attacks (November 26-29, 2008)

10 years to the day after the launch of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, France reaffirms its very strong condemnation of all forms of terrorist violence and pays tribute to the memory of the many victims of these despicable attacks, which included two French citizens.

France reiterates its demand that such crimes must not go unpunished. It calls on all countries to take decisive action to combat terrorism, to implement the sanctions policy set out by the UN Security Council and to combat the use of their territories as bases for terrorist groups.

France stands alongside India in the fight against terrorism, which is one of the pillars of the French-Indian strategic partnership.

Incidents in the Sea of Azov (November 25, 2018)

France expresses its deep concern at the serious maritime incidents that took place yesterday between Russia and Ukraine in the Kerch Strait.

Russian forces stated that they struck and then, with the use of force, boarded and searched three Ukrainian naval vessels which were attempting to cross this maritime route. Several Ukrainian sailors were reportedly injured. In light of our knowledge of the facts at this stage, nothing appears to justify this use of force by Russia.

This situation is a direct consequence of the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 in violation of international law. France reaffirms its commitment in support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We call on Russia and Ukraine to demonstrate the utmost restraint and to avoid any military escalation.

We call on Russia to release the detained Ukrainian sailors as soon as possible and to return the vessels that were seized.

The policy of boarding and searching vessels that has been implemented by Russia since spring 2018 is affecting Ukrainian marine freight and port activity. We call on Russia to respect the freedom of passage in the Kerch Strait as well as the freedom of navigation in the waters of the Sea of Azov.

What is France's position in the face of the events between Russia and Ukraine in the Kerch Strait?

Please refer to the statement I issued today.

Will the meeting of the political directors in the Normandy format take place today in Berlin following the events in the Sea of Azov?

We are taking part in this meeting which has been confirmed by our German partners.

Libya – Terrorist attack (November 23, 2018)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack on a police station in the town of Tazirbu, in southeastern Libya. This attack, for which Daesh claimed responsibility, left at least nine dead, according to preliminary estimates. We offer our condolences to the victims' families and to the Libyan people.

France stands by all Libyan forces that are combating terrorism. In keeping with the commitments taken at the Palermo conference on November 13 and in line with the political declaration in Paris on May 29, France will continue to work with its international partners to support the efforts of Libyans and the UN secretary-general's special representative, Ghassam Salamé, to bring lasting stability back to Libya, particularly through the elections to be held in spring 2019.

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