The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - March 15, 2019
In this issue:

◢  European Union – Jean-Yves Le Drian's participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels - March 18, 2019)

◢  Syria / Humanitarian assistance – France's participation in the Brussels III Conference (March 12-14, 2019)

◢  United States – Announcement by California of a moratorium on the death penalty (March 14, 2019)

 
European Union – Jean-Yves Le Drian's participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels - March 18, 2019)

Jean-Yves le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on March 18.

After reaffirming the EU's attachment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, five years after the illegal annexation by Russia of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the ministers will discuss the following main points:

  • Moldova: Following the parliamentary elections on February 24 which were marred by irregularities and in the context of the formation of a new government coalition, France will call for vigilance with regard to respect for the rule of law and for efforts to encourage the effective implementation of the reforms provided for by the association agreement.
  • China: The ministers will discuss EU relations with China ahead of the European Council meeting on March 21 and the EU-China summit in Brussels on April 9.

    France will underscore the need for the EU to maintain its unity vis-à-vis China and for greater reciprocity in EU-China relations, especially with respect to trade and the opening up of public procurement. It will reaffirm the importance of continuing our cooperation with respect to the implementation of the Paris climate accord. The discussions will be followed by a lunch attended by the ministers and Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.

  • Yemen: France will argue in favor of strengthening EU support for the Stockholm process and for the efforts of the UN special envoy in order to promote the resumption of discussions on a comprehensive political framework, the only way to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

The Foreign Affairs Council will adopt human rights guidelines on non-discrimination in the EU's external action.



Syria / Humanitarian assistance – France's participation in the Brussels III Conference (March 12-14, 2019)

While the conflict in Syria is entering its 9th year, the Brussels III Conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region, co-chaired by the EU and the UN, helped mobilize the international community in the face of the tragic humanitarian consequences of this crisis.

Additional financial contributions were therefore announced in order to respond to the humanitarian emergency in Syria and to support Syrian refugees, as well as the countries that host them. France played its full role in this effort.

France's financial contribution for 2019-2021 will amount to more than €1 billion in support of Syrian populations in humanitarian distress, refugees and host countries, notably Lebanon and Jordan. It includes €200 million in grants and €937 million in loans. This announcement is in keeping with our mobilization in response to the Syrian crisis since the conference in London in 2016. This commitment was marked in 2018 by the announcement of a €50 million emergency program currently being implemented, aimed in particular at helping the populations in the territories liberated from Daesh by our Syrian Democratic Forces partners, with the support of the global coalition.

France will continue to support the Syrian populations in distress and the main countries hosting refugees, whose return must be voluntary and safe, in accordance with international standards. France reaffirmed that it will only contribute to Syria's reconstruction if a credible political process was firmly underway, in accordance with UNSCR 2254, leading to constitutional reform and the holding of free and credible elections, under UN supervision. This is also the EU's position. All Syrians, including refugees and internally displaced persons, must be able to take part in the elections in a neutral environment guaranteed by confidence-building measures.

On the sidelines of the conference, France jointly organized an event on the fight against impunity for crimes committed in Syria, which is one of the priorities of our diplomatic action on the Syrian conflict and a prerequisite for Syria's future stabilization.



United States – Announcement by California of a moratorium on the death penalty (March 14, 2019)

France welcomes the announcement on March 14 by Governor of California Gavin Newsom on establishing a moratorium on the death penalty in his state which has the highest number of death row prisoners in the United States.

France welcomes this important step and urges California to continue efforts to promote the definitive abolition of the death penalty.

France calls on all states that continue to apply the death penalty to establish a moratorium with a view toward the definitive abolition of this unjust, inhuman and degrading punishment.


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