The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - May 21, 2019
In this issue:

◢  International trade – Trade policy monitoring committee (Paris - May 21, 2019)

◢  European Union – Amélie de Montchalin's participation in the General Affairs Council (Brussels - May 21, 2019)

◢  Libya

◢  Iran

International trade – Trade policy monitoring committee (Paris - May 21, 2019)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is convening the trade policy monitoring committee today.

This forum brings together parliamentarians, professional associations, unions and NGOs involved in monitoring international trade agreements. The meeting will provide an opportunity for an in-depth exchange of views on the promotion and defense of French economic interests, as well as on our trade priorities, such as the consideration of sustainable development challenges in EU trade agreements.

The minister of state will report on discussions at the European level on the modernization of the WTO, as well as trade talks with the United States. He will take stock of ongoing negotiations, notably with Mercosur, and of the action plan adopted on October 25, 2017, by the government within the framework of the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada (CETA). A follow-up table for this plan is available online on the France Diplomatie website:

European Union – Amélie de Montchalin's participation in the General Affairs Council (Brussels - May 21, 2019)

Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part in the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels today.

The ministers will discuss the following points:

a) the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027

Following the discussions on the fight against climate change and the response to migration challenges within the EU budget (GAC on March 19), as well as on the cohesion policy and the Common Agricultural Policy (GAC on April 9), the ministers will exchange views in a public debate on the external dimension of the EU budget.

The minister of state will reaffirm our main priorities, notably the geographical priorities with respect to Africa and the Southern Neighborhood, the flexibility of management practices, the role of member states in governance and the steering of these actions, as well the call for an increase of the climate contribution target.

b) Preparations for the European Council on June 20 and 21

The ministers will discuss the following points: i) the next institutional cycle, with the adoption of the EU's 2019-2024 strategic agenda, ii) the Multiannual Financial Framework, iii) climate change, iv) other issues on the agenda of the next European Council (European semester, fight against disinformation).

The minister of state will notably highlight the need for the heads of state and government to adopt an ambitious message in June on climate, through the adoption of an EU position on the goal of climate neutrality by 2050, in the run-up to the UN Climate Summit in September.

c) The Commission will present its communication on the strengthening of the rule of law of April 3 which provides an assessment of the situation and identifies possible ways to strengthen the instruments to promote, prevent and respond to deficiencies in the rule of law within the EU;

d) Lastly, the Romanian presidency and France will jointly present the results of the ministerial meeting that took place on May 3 in Paris aimed—following the disastrous fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris—at launching a strong collective initiative to better preserve European heritage.


Mr. Sarraj's forces in Libya announced yesterday that they had received armored vehicles and "qualitative" weapons. The cargo seems to have been provided by Turkey (via a vessel that came from Turkey and is owned by a Turkish company).
1) How do you view this shipment and Mr. Erdogan’s support for Mr. Sarraj's forces?
2) Are you afraid the media attention is accelerating an already intense arms race between the two Libyan camps?

UN Security Council Resolution 1970 establishes a weapons embargo that is binding on all countries.

As we have said repeatedly, only a political solution under the auspices of the UN will end the conflict in Libya.


With tensions continually on the rise between Iran and the U.S., Tehran has just announced a large increase in its production of enriched uranium.
1) Will this announcement undercut the efforts made by France and Europe to maintain the effects of the JCPoA?
2) On the other hand, will it accelerate the establishment of the Instex trade mechanism?

We noted the latest announcements by the Iranian authorities concerning the production capacities of low-enriched uranium by Iran, which is in line with their statements of May 8.

We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement all of its obligations under the JCPoA, as it has done thus far, and to refrain from any measures that would put it in violation of its commitments.

We reject any ultimatums and will assess Iran's compliance with its nuclear commitments in regard to its implementation of obligations set forth under JCPoA. In this regard, we reaffirm the crucial follow-up and monitoring roles played by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

France is determined to see the JCPoA—central to the international non-proliferation and international security regime—implemented in full.

Along with its European partners, France is continuing its efforts to preserve the economic benefits linked to the lifting of sanctions as provided by the Iranian nuclear agreement, as long as Iran respects all of its nuclear obligations. The work under way for the operational implementation of the Instex mirror company known as the Special Trade and Financing Institute (STFI) is moving forward in a positive way and should soon be completed.

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