The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - May 15, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Angola – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and his Angolan counterpart (May 15, 2019)

◢  Yemen (May 15, 2019)

◢  Gulf

◢  China

◢  Libya

 
Angola – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and his Angolan counterpart (May 15, 2019)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will receive Manuel Domingos Augusto, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, today. This meeting falls within the scope of the special partnership between our two countries established by the joint statement issued by President Macron and his Angolan counterpart on May 28, 2018.

The ministers will reaffirm their determination to maintain close dialogue on issues relating to security and regional stability in Africa and to develop our defense partnership.

The minister will underscore France's determination to strengthen economic relations with Angola and to contribute toward Angola's economic diversification. Jean-Yves Le Drian will reaffirm our desire to support Angola in developing sustainable industries that will generate employment and value in the agricultural sector, following the visit to Luanda in April by the minister of agriculture and food. The ministers will discuss the strengthening of our cultural, scientific and academic cooperation.



Yemen (May 15, 2019)

France welcomes the announcement by the UN of the start of operations to redeploy the forces present along the west coast of Yemen, in the ports of Salif, Ras-Issa and Hodeidah. These movements are an encouraging sign in terms of the implementation of the agreements reached between the Yemeni parties in Stockholm on December 13, 2018. We reaffirm our support for the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), whose presence on the ground is key to monitoring and facilitating the redeployment, as provided for by UNSCR 2452 (2019).

France calls on all of the parties to uphold their commitments and to fully implement the redeployment, including with respect to the city of Hodeidah. Compliance with these commitments by all parties is critical to allowing the delivery of humanitarian assistance, which the Yemeni population desperately needs.

At the same time, France strongly condemns the drone attacks against Saudi oil facilities, for which the Houthis have claimed responsibility. These attacks, which undermine Saudi Arabia's security and the stability of the region, are unacceptable. France calls on all parties to refrain from any escalation that could jeopardize the political process aimed at resolving the Yemeni crisis.

The resumption of discussions on a comprehensive and inclusive political agreement, taking the diversity of Yemeni actors into account, offers the only real prospect of putting an end to the conflict in Yemen. To that end, France renews its support for the mediation efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.



Gulf

What do you think about the acts of "sabotage" against oil tankers off the coast of the Emirates? What role are French experts playing in the investigation?

We refer you to yesterday's remarks by the Prime Minister to the National Assembly, in which he expressed his concern over such acts.



China

The Chinese authorities criticized the French decision to grant political asylum to Grace Meng. What is your response?

Decisions on asylum are made by the Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons - OFPRA), which rules independently and impartially on the applications it receives, in line with current laws in France and the Geneva Convention of July 28, 1951, on the status of refugees.



Libya

Yesterday the minister criticized Prime Minister Sarraj's non-initiative in Libya. Can you clarify what exactly this is?

France's stance is well known and unwavering: only a political solution under the authority of the UN will make it possible to end the conflict in Libya.

In this regard, as the minister said in his recent interview with Le Figaro, France regrets that the Abu Dhabi agreement was unable to be finalized in March.

France supports Mr. Sarraj's government of national accord. It maintains a dialogue with all the parties, urging them to resume negotiations and to accept an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.

The political process, on which France is working relentlessly with its partners, and especially the Europeans, must be based on the principles and rules that were agreed to at the Paris, Palermo and Abu Dhabi conferences. All the Libyan stakeholders must assume their responsibilities and implement their commitments.


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