The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - June 14, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Albania – Meeting between Amélie de Montchalin and Gent Cakaj, Albania's acting minister for Europe and foreign affairs (Paris - June 14, 2019)

◢  Naval incidents in the Gulf of Oman

◢  Middle East

◢  Turkey

◢  European Union – Expansion

Albania – Meeting between Amélie de Montchalin and Gent Cakaj, Albania's acting minister for Europe and foreign affairs (Paris - June 14, 2019)

Today Amélie de Montchalin, minister of state for European affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs is hosting Gent Cakaj, Albania's acting minister for Europe and foreign affairs.

She will reaffirm France's commitment to long-term stabilization and economic and social development in the Western Balkans, based on a new French strategy for the region, whose main points were presented by President Macron on April 29 at the Berlin summit on the Balkans.

They will also discuss Albania's European prospects in the context of the recent publication of the European Commission's annual report on enlargement, which France is currently studying.

Amélie de Montchalin and Gent Cakaj will review ways to increase our bilateral cooperation on economic and social development as well as justice and security, including illegal migration.

Naval incidents in the Gulf of Oman

What information do you have on the attack on two oil tankers Thursday in the Gulf of Oman? Do you, like the United States, believe that Iran bears responsibility for this attack?

What is your assessment of the video the Americans provided on the incidents in the Gulf of Oman?

We were deeply concerned to learn of the attack on two oil tankers yesterday in the Gulf of Oman and we condemn that attack. These incidents will fuel the already strong tensions in the region.

It is necessary and urgent to get to the bottom of these events. France is in touch with its key partners for that purpose.

We reaffirm our commitment to regional security and stability and to the freedom of navigation, which must absolutely be preserved.

France reiterates its call to all the relevant actors, with which it is in constant touch, to exercise restraint and de-escalate the situation.

Middle East

What does France think of the American meeting in Bahrain on the peace process? Was Paris invited?

Our position on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unwavering and has been reaffirmed several times by the minister for Europe and foreign affairs: we are committed to a framework, that of international law, and in particular the Security Council resolutions; to a method: negotiations; and to a goal: two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peace and security within recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.

We took note of the invitation we received to attend an economic workshop on June 25 and 26 in Manama at the initiative of the United States and Bahrain. We are in touch with our partners, and notably our European partners, on this question.


Do you think that the purchase by Turkey of the Russian S-400 missile defense system is incompatible with NATO security?

The purchase of military equipment by Turkey is obviously a sovereign decision. The unity of the alliance is nevertheless essential. The interoperability of the military capabilities of the allies contributes to this unity.

Potential disputes between allies can undermine this unity and it is therefore their responsibility to resolve them.

As the minister for Europe and foreign affairs reaffirmed yesterday during his visit to Ankara, France stands alongside its Turkish ally in order to address potential regional threats to its security.

European Union – Expansion

Are you for or against the opening of accession negotiations between the EU and Albania and North Macedonia?

On May 29, the European Commission adopted its annual report on EU enlargement policy. This document provides an overview of the situation of each of the countries aspiring to join the EU.

No decision has been made at this stage by the French authorities.

France is currently examining the Commission's report and will give its recommendations based on a twofold requirement:

  • as President Macron reaffirmed on several occasions, the enlargement process must first of all take into consideration the EU's priority of enhancement and improved functioning.
  • we must pay particular attention to ensuring that the candidate countries fully comply with the criteria specified by the Council. The enlargement process is based on stringent requirements and the candidates' own merits, without any predetermined timeline. Considerable effort with respect to the rule of law and good economic governance is required. The reforms undertaken by these countries must be intensified in order to bring about tangible, lasting and irreversible results.

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