The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - January 29, 2019
In this issue:

◢  China – Sentencing of Wang Quanzhang and Liu Feiyue (January 28-29, 2019)

◢  Situation of jihadists in northeastern Syria

◢  Cameroon

◢  Ukraine

China – Sentencing of Wang Quanzhang and Liu Feiyue (January 28-29, 2019)

Two human rights defenders, Wang Quanzhang and Liu Feiyue, have just received lengthy prison sentences in China.

France expresses its concern in this regard and demands that lawyers be able to freely exercise their profession and that the right of defense be respected, including the right to a fair trial.

Situation of jihadists in northeastern Syria

According to certain media outlets, almost 130 French jihadists detained by the Kurdish forces in Syria could be released in the next few weeks. Can you confirm this information? What is the nature of the agreement with the Kurdish forces? How can this decision be justified?

The Syrian Democratic Forces are currently holding foreign terrorist fighters, including French nationals, in northeastern Syria. The figure of 130 jihadists put forward by BFM has by no means been confirmed.

In light of developments in the military situation in northeastern Syria and American decisions, and in order to ensure the security of French people, we are exploring all options in order to prevent these potentially dangerous individuals from escaping or dispersing.

If the forces detaining these French fighters decide to deport them to France, they would be immediately handed over to the judicial authorities. These individuals voluntarily joined a terrorist organization that is fighting in the Levant, has committed attacks in France and is continuing to pose a threat to us.


What is France's reaction to the situation in Cameroon, and specifically to yesterday's arrest of opposition leader Maurice Kamto and the summoning of the ambassador to Yaoundé following incidents at the Embassy of Cameroon in Paris on Saturday?

We are closely monitoring Maurice Kamto's situation following his arrest.

We strongly condemn last Saturday's intrusion into the Embassy of Cameroon in Paris.

Our ambassador in Yaoundé met with Cameroon's foreign minister yesterday, as he does on a regular basis. It was not a summons.


In an interview with the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, Martin Sajdik, the special representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office in Ukraine, mentioned a new plan for the peaceful resolution of the Donbas conflict. The plan involves establishing a joint UN-OSCE mission. What is France's assessment of this plan?

We are currently studying this proposal on a joint basis with Germany and in conjunction with the Russian and Ukrainian parties within the Normandy format.

A peaceful resolution to the Donbas conflict will depend above all on the parties' political will to fulfill their commitments.

The full implementation of the Minsk Agreement remains the only framework for resolving the crisis.

France in the
United States
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