The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - December 5, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Mauritania / G5 Sahel – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (December 5-6, 2018)

◢  Yemen – Inter-Yemeni talks (December 5, 2018)

Mauritania / G5 Sahel – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (December 5-6, 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in Mauritania on December 5 and 6. He will be attending a meeting of the five Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad) which are coordinating their development and security efforts within the G5 Sahel, which France has actively supported since it was founded in 2014.

During this meeting, which will be devoted to raising funds for the G5 Sahel's Priority Investment Program, Mr. Le Drian will emphasize our support for operational projects to overcome the isolation of the five nations and bring their people closer together, and to bolster regional stability. He will announce a large French contribution to this program, and the sectors covered by French aid.

He will reiterate that this support for the G5 Sahel's Priority Investment Program goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to the Sahel Alliance. Launched last year by the French President, the German Chancellor and the EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy, this alliance aims to boost the effectiveness of development assistance for the Sahel and to deploy it more swiftly in vulnerable areas, areas at war and those threatened by terrorism.

The minister will underscore the importance for the G5 Sahel Joint Force—an initiative launched in July 2017 by the Sahel countries—to continue its operations to combat terrorism while at the same time ramping up its strength. He will reaffirm France's support for the force's operations and the international community's mobilization on its behalf.

During his visit, Mr. Le Drian will hold a bilateral meeting with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. He will stress our appreciation for Mauritania's engagement within the G5 Sahel.

The minister will then travel to Kiffa, in southeastern Mauritania, to witness the completion of two projects supported by France—one in the field of sustainable energy and the other in maternal health—which reflect our involvement in priority areas.

Yemen – Inter-Yemeni talks (December 5, 2018)

France welcomes the beginning of inter-Yemeni talks between representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthis; they are being held in Stockholm under the auspices of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, for whom France reiterates its full support. It welcomes the commitment of the Yemeni parties and the trust-building measures taken in recent days that made this meeting possible. It thanks the Swedish government for hosting it.

These talks must facilitate a political solution, the only way to achieve a lasting peace, to ease the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people, and to ensure the peninsula's stability. They are therefore an important milestone.

Yemen is currently facing a triple food, humanitarian and health crisis that threatens to turn into a widespread famine. Given the urgency of this situation, France is asking the parties to take part in these talks in good faith, and is asking all Yemeni and regional stakeholders to assume their responsibilities and create the military and humanitarian conditions on the ground enabling these discussions to succeed. In particular, this requires a cessation of hostilities, the full opening of the port of Hodeidah to humanitarian and commercial traffic, and the restoration of humanitarian access.

With this goal in mind, France has had productive discussions with the nations in the region in recent weeks. Working with its allies and all of its regional interlocutors, France will continue to mobilize all its efforts in support of the UN mediation effort.

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