The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - January 28, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Poland – Visit by Nathalie Loiseau (January 28-29, 2019)

◢  EU / UN – Trip by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (Brussels - January 28, 2019)

◢  Mali – Attack on MINUSMA (January 25, 2019)

◢  Burkina Faso – Attacks against the civilian populations (January 28, 2019)

◢  Philippines – Attack against the cathedral on Jolo Island (January 27, 2019)

◢  Brazil – Collapse of a tailings dam (January 25, 2019)

◢  Lebanon

Poland – Visit by Nathalie Loiseau (January 28-29, 2019)

European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau will be in Warsaw on January 28 and 29. She will meet with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz and with her Polish counterpart, Konrad Szymański, as well as with representatives of the Parliamentary opposition and civil society.

She and the foreign minister will discuss French-Polish relations and major international issues.

With Mr. Szymański, she will more specifically discuss European affairs, seeking common views on several important current issues: the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU, the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework, the Mobility Package, taxation of the digital sector, and copyrights. They will also discuss the Council's procedure on rule of law concerns in Poland. Both Ms. Loiseau and Mr. Szymański will take part in a debate on the future of Europe with students from the Natolin campus of the College of Europe.

The minister will also visit the headquarters of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), which is in Warsaw, and will meet with its executive director, our compatriot Fabrice Leggeri.

During her visit, Ms. Loiseau will take part in consultations organized by consular counselors as part of the Great National Debate.

EU / UN – Trip by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (Brussels - January 28, 2019)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, minister of state attached to the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will attend a meeting in Brussels today of the five EU member states currently sitting on the UN Security Council (Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, and the UK), which will also be attended by EU High Representative [for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy] Federica Mogherini.

Mr. Lemoyne will reaffirm France's determination to continue and expand its close and ongoing cooperation with its EU partners in New York. He will stress our desire to see the EU help the UN Security Council to fully assume its eminent responsibility to maintain international peace and security. The EU-UN relationship plays a central role in the implementation of the "effective multilateralism" to which France is committed.

Mali – Attack on MINUSMA (January 25, 2019)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack carried out against the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) on January 25 near Douentza, in the Mopti region, which claimed the lives of two Sri Lankan peacekeepers and injured several others.

We honor the personnel who were killed in this attack and offer our condolences to their families. We applaud the commitment of the Sri Lankan forces in MINUSMA.

France reaffirms its determination to fight alongside its partners to combat the scourge of terrorism. We demand that everything be done to identify those responsible for this attack and to bring them to justice.

France reaffirms its full support for MINUSMA, which is playing a vital role in stabilizing Mali.

Burkina Faso – Attacks against the civilian populations (January 28, 2019)

France utterly condemns the attack carried out yesterday against a market in the village of Sikire in Burkina Faso, which left several people dead. It is concerned at the increase in the number of attacks targeted against the security forces and the civilian populations in this country.

We extend our condolences to the victims' families and to the people of Burkina Faso and demand that an investigation into these crimes be conducted as swiftly as possible and that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

France, together will all its partners in the region, stands alongside Burkina Faso in the face of terrorism and is determined to continue to lend its support to the efforts of President Kaboré and Mr. Dabiré's new government to combat this scourge.

Philippines – Attack against the cathedral on Jolo Island (January 27, 2019)

France utterly condemns the attack against the cathedral on Jolo Island yesterday, for which Daesh has claimed responsibility and which killed some 20 people and injured around 100 others, according to the information available.

France extends its condolences to the victims' families as well as to the Philippine people. It stands alongside the Philippines in the fight against terrorism.

Brazil – Collapse of a tailings dam (January 25, 2019)

France was shocked to learn of the tragic toll exacted by the collapse of a tailings dam on January 25 in Brumadinho, in southeastern Brazil, which left at least 60 people dead and almost 300 missing, according to provisional reports.

France expresses its wholehearted solidarity with the victims' families, the authorities and the Brazilian people at this difficult time.


Is it true that, as certain press articles are indicating, you asked Israel not to carry out any military strikes in Lebanon before the formation of a government in this country? According to these same sources, Mr. Le Drain warned that otherwise President Macron would cancel his visit to Lebanon. Furthermore, can you confirm that Mr. Le Drain also indicated that France had recently stopped lending its support to the Lebanese Army?

These are speculations which have no basis.

France is closely watching the situation in Lebanon and would like a government to be formed as swiftly as possible now. It believes that there is a need to ensure that the sovereignty, security and stability of Lebanon prevail in a difficult regional context. It would like the commitments undertaken by the Lebanese authorities and the international partners at the CEDRE and Rome II conferences to be upheld and implemented.

France itself is upholding its commitments and is continuing to lend its support to the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces. It also calls for strict compliance with the UN Security Council resolutions and pays tribute to UNIFIL's commitment to ensuring that calm is maintained along the Blue Line, the border between Lebanon and Israel.

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