The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - January 24, 2019
In this issue:

◢  China – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Wang Yi, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs (January 24, 2019)

◢  Slovenia – Meeting between Nathalie Loiseau and Dobran Božič (Paris - January 24, 2019)

◢  Non-proliferation

◢  INF Treaty

◢  Comoros

◢  Venezuela

 
China – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Wang Yi, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs (January 24, 2019)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will receive Wang Yi, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, today, following the latter's meeting with President Macron yesterday. This meeting has special significance since this year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries.

France attaches particular importance to its relations with China. Our goal is to strengthen our dialogue on international issues and to deepen our bilateral exchanges, notably in the economic sphere - topics that we address as part of our strategic dialogue.

With respect to international issues:

  • the ministers will discuss the political and security issues on which our countries cooperate within the UN Security Council: the North Korean crisis and our efforts to help resolve it, the preservation of the Iranian nuclear deal concluded in Vienna, the fight against terrorism, as well as support for stabilization and economic development efforts in Africa;
  • Jean-Yves Le Drian will reaffirm our attachment to strengthening multilateralism, including in the area of trade, namely with respect to access to the Chinese market by our firms and reciprocal investment;
  • Jean-Yves Le Drian will discuss with his counterpart the implementation of the Paris climate accord and the negotiations on the adoption of a Global Pact for the Environment and the prospects for the COP 15 on Biological Diversity due to be hosted by China in 2020. We engage in close dialogue with China on these issues, as reflected by the French-Chinese declaration on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in November 2018.

With respect to bilateral relations, the ministers will discuss the development of our productive partnerships in the civilian nuclear and aerospace fields as well as cultural and scientific exchanges. These exchanges fall within the framework of the guidelines set out by President Macron and his Chinese counterpart during the state visit made by the president of the Republic of China in January 2018.



Slovenia – Meeting between Nathalie Loiseau and Dobran Božič (Paris - January 24, 2019)

European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau is hosting her Slovenian counterpart, Dobran Božič, today.

Their meeting falls within the context of our strategic bilateral partnership's action plan, which is being renewed, and also comes ahead of the French and Slovenian EU Council presidencies in 2021 and 2022. It will strengthen the many areas of agreement between our two countries and will enhance the quality of their relationship.

The two ministers will discuss major current events in Europe; they will review Brexit preparations and the major issues that the Romanian EU Council presidency is dealing with: the Mobility Package, copyright issues, the multiannual financial framework, and taxation of the digital sector. They will also review work on the future of the euro area, to which Slovenia belongs.



Non-proliferation

Can you confirm the meeting of the five nuclear weapons states on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing? At what level will France be represented?

The five nuclear weapons states generally coordinate on these questions.



INF Treaty

According to the Russian defense ministry, the French military attaché (along with his American, British and German colleagues) did not attend the briefing on January 23 on the 9M729 missile, which according to the United States violates the INF. Can you comment on this situation?

We believe that verification measures are required under the INF treaty between Russia and the United States allowing for direct access to the missile and a specific examination by experts. Our concerns are well known. The NATO-Russia Council will be an opportunity to address them.



Comoros

President Azali is currently in Paris. Has he come to sign the France-Comoros Partnership Framework Document?

President Azali is in France on a private visit. He has not requested any meetings with members of the French government. The Partnership Framework Document is not ready to be signed. Elected officials in Mayotte are consulted at each step in the drafting of this document and will be consulted on its implementation once it has been finalized. Is the free movement of Comorian nationals to Mayotte on the agenda?

Not at all. A visa for traveling to Mayotte—a vital tool for controlling immigration—is and remains obligatory.



Venezuela

Since the EU did not clearly state in its communiqué yesterday evening if the 27 European nations clearly recognize the legitimacy of the self-proclaimed interim presidency of Juan Guaidó, what is Paris's view? And are European diplomats—and especially French diplomats, as far as we're concerned—free to move about and act?

As the French President said this morning, Europe supports the return of democracy to Venezuela.


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