The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - July 1st, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Sudan – Violence (June 30, 2019)

◢  Ukraine – Situation in the eastern part of the country (June 30, 2019)

◢  United Nations / Adoption of resolution 2480 (2019) – Renewal of MINUSMA's mandate (June 28, 2019)

◢  EU – Finnish Council Presidency (July 1 - December 31, 2019)

◢  Venezuela

Sudan – Violence (June 30, 2019)

France deplores the violence that took place on Sunday, June 30, in Sudan during the protests organized by the opposition, and calls for restraint.

France reaffirms its full support for the joint mediation efforts of the African Union and Ethiopia aimed at reaching a negotiated and inclusive agreement, the only way to swiftly resolve the crisis in Sudan.

It encourages the Transitional Military Council, as well as the opposition, to make progress, in good faith, in the negotiations and to ensure the formation of a civilian-led government as swiftly as possible, in accordance with the balanced proposals that emerged from the mediation.

Ukraine – Situation in the eastern part of the country (June 30, 2019)

France welcomes the disengagement of Ukrainian and separatist forces from the Stanytsia Luhanska area, initiated on June 26 and completed on June 30, 2019. This disengagement, provided for in a framework agreement concluded between the parties in September 2016, is an important step toward consolidating a lasting ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

France thanks the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which assisted and observed the proper implementation, up to this point, of the disengagement.

This is an encouraging development. France urges the parties to sustain this momentum and to implement all of the commitments made under the Minsk accords and within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.

Within the so-called Normandy format, France and Germany are fully committed to finding solutions to resolve the conflict which has affected several million civilians in eastern Ukraine over the past five years and continues to do so.

United Nations / Adoption of resolution 2480 (2019) – Renewal of MINUSMA's mandate (June 28, 2019)

France welcomes the unanimous adoption on Friday, June 28, 2019, of UNSCR 2480, renewing for one year the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Resolution 2480 stresses the need for urgent progress toward implementing the peace agreement, with specific deliverables expected over the coming year and a clear message: Those who obstruct the implementation of the agreement will be liable to sanctions.

The Security Council also draws the consequences of the deteriorating situation in central Mali. The resolution calls on the Malian authorities to immediately implement a comprehensive strategy to put an end to the violence and to restore state authority and encourages MINUSMA to strengthen its efforts in this area, which is now the mission's second most important strategic priority.

France reaffirms its full support for MINUSMA's work and pays tribute to the commitment of the peacekeepers operating in a challenging environment who pay a heavy price. MINUSMA is a key component of the international presence in Mali; its mandate complements that of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, France's Operation Barkhane and the European mission, EUTM.

EU – Finnish Council Presidency (July 1 - December 31, 2019)

As of today, and through December 31, Finland holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, following Romania (first half of 2019) and preceding Croatia (first half of 2020).

This presidency goes hand in hand with the renewal of the EU's institutional cycle, which began with European Parliamentary elections in May and will continue with the establishment of a new European Commission in the fall. Finland's presidency will therefore be the first to implement the priorities set by the heads of state and government in June in the EU's 2019-2024 Strategic Agenda.

The priorities that the Finnish presidency intends to advance during its term are largely those promoted by the French authorities. France especially applauds Finland's emphasis on strengthening the EU's shared values, including the rule of law; the goal of making the EU a global leader on climate change; the consolidation of a competitive and socially inclusive Union; and the protection of European citizens in every area, including defense.

France offers Finland its best wishes for success as it begins its term. It would also like to thank the outgoing Romanian presidency for its commitment and for the results it achieved in the first half of 2019.


Do you want to comment on the death of detained navy captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo in Venezuela?

France strongly condemns the death of detained navy captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo on June 30. It calls for an independent investigation to shed all possible light on his death.

France reaffirms that it is the responsibility of every state to guarantee the physical safety of prisoners, and that torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments are violations of human rights. Venezuela must respect its international commitments in this regard, in particular the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. France supports the work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in her efforts to guarantee the full respect of fundamental rights in Venezuela and calls for the full release of all political prisoners.

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