The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - December 13, 2018
In this issue:

◢  India – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (December 14-15, 2018)

◢  Yemen – Intra-Yemeni talks (Stockholm - December 5-13, 2018)

◢  Nicaragua – Protection of human rights (December 13, 2018)

India – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (December 14-15, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit India from December 14 to 15. This visit, which is taking place as France and India are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their strategic partnership, follows on from President Macron's state visit in March.

In New Delhi, the minister will be officially received by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will meet with his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj. These meetings will provide an opportunity to reaffirm our two countries' commitment to strong and effective multilateralism, while France is preparing to assume the presidency of the G7, and our attachment to the reform of the UN Security Council as well as the WTO within the framework of the roadmap endorsed at the G20.

Jean-Yves Le Drian will underscore the importance of the French-Indian strategic partnership in the face of global threats and international and regional crises. He will express our desire to strengthen our cooperation with respect to combating terrorist financing. In the face of the challenges of climate disruption, he will pay tribute to the strength of our cooperation at the international level aimed at fostering innovative solutions, notably within the framework of the International Solar Alliance which held its first general assembly in October in the Indian capital.

The minister will review the bilateral cooperation measures launched during President Macron's state visit, notably in the space and energy fields, as well as in the area of sustainable urban development. He will encourage the strengthening of human exchanges, including in the areas of higher education and tourism. In Mumbai, the minister will take part in networking events for visual arts professionals in order to promote exchanges in the audiovisual and film sectors.

Yemen – Intra-Yemeni talks (Stockholm - December 5-13, 2018)

France welcomes the results of the talks on Yemen led by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, which brought together representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthis in Sweden over the last few days.

The holding of these talks was in itself a first positive step. Substantial progress was made, notably including the exchange of a significant number of prisoners, the withdrawal of the armed forces from the port and city of Hodeidah and a ceasefire throughout the province, as well as a mechanism for a de-escalation in Taiz.

While Yemen is - according to the UN - experiencing the world's worst humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (almost 75% of the population), the positive momentum in Stockholm must be extended by the holding of further political discussions as swiftly as possible. The only way to ensure lasting peace, relieve the humanitarian suffering of the population in Yemen, as well ensure the peninsula's stability, is through a political solution.

France welcomes the constructive engagement of the parties and reaffirms its full support for the UN special envoy's continued efforts. It thanks the Swedish government for hosting these talks and all states for lending their support to the discussions. France will continue to mobilize all its resources in support of the UN mediation efforts, in conjunction with its allies and all of its interlocutors in the region.

Nicaragua – Protection of human rights (December 13, 2018)

France condemns the Nicaraguan Parliament's decision to cancel the legal status of several human rights organizations, notably the Nicaragua Center for Human Rights and the Institute for Strategic and Public Policy Studies in Managua, whose directors were received at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs on October 25 and December 10 respectively.

France reiterates its deep concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in Nicaragua and at the pressure exerted on human rights defenders.

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