The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - July 2, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Slovenia – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Slovenia's deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs (Paris - July 2, 2019)

◢  Decentralized cooperation – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne's participation in the National Commission for Decentralized Cooperation (CNCD) (Paris - July 2, 2019)

◢  Hong Kong

◢  Mali

◢  Spain

Slovenia – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Slovenia's deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs (Paris - July 2, 2019)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, received Miro Cerar, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, today.

During their meeting, the two ministers discussed major current European issues, especially the EU Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024. They also discussed the Western Balkans as well major international issues, notably the most recent developments in Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Sahel.

This meeting helped to strengthen the many areas of convergence between our two countries and bolster the quality of their relations.

After their meeting, the ministers signed the new French-Slovenian Strategic Partnership Action Plan. This document sets out the guidelines for our cooperation over the next three years, at the bilateral, European and multilateral level, in the run-up to the French and Slovenian presidencies of the Council of the European Union during the period 2021-2022. It is divided into three areas, focusing on the strengthening of our political partnership, the continued development of our trade, and the strengthening of our exceptional partnership in the areas of education, research, culture and sport.

Decentralized cooperation – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne's participation in the National Commission for Decentralized Cooperation (CNCD) (Paris - July 2, 2019)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, chaired the plenary session of the National Commission for Decentralized Cooperation at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie today.

The minister of state reviewed progress on the draft legislation on guidelines and programming for the partnership policy on development and international solidarity (LOPDSI) which had been discussed during the previous plenary session of the CNCD on December 13, 2018.

The members of CNCD discussed the implementation of the roadmap for the Sahel, adopted during the previous national commission. Stéphanie Rivoal, Secretary-General of the 2020 Africa-France Summit on the theme of "Sustainable Cities," reported on preparations for the summit and called on French and African communities to get involved in them. Deputy Vincent Ledoux presented the mission entrusted to him which focuses on the contribution of regional stakeholders to the priority accorded by the French Foreign Ministry to Africa.

The involvement of French local authorities in the reconstruction of Iraq and their commitment in support of the guidelines established at the Summit of the Two Shores in Marseille in June 24 was also discussed.

During this session, François Rebsamen, Mayor of Dijon, turned the vice-chairmanship of the commission, which he had held since 2016 on behalf of the Association of Mayors of France, over to André Viola, President of the Departmental Council of Aude, on behalf of the Assembly of Departments of France.

The commission is a forum for dialogue between the government and regional and local authorities, enabling local elected officials to discuss their international presence and the synergy between local and government initiatives.

Hong Kong

Are you afraid of an escalation in Hong Kong following the clashes between tens of thousands of demonstrators and police on July 1? What role are France and the EU playing to try to ease this crisis?

France and its European partners continue to closely follow current events in Hong Kong.

We reiterate our concern over the violence.

We call for the establishment of a sincere dialogue based on the "one country, two systems" policy, which guarantees respect for the rule of law and especially the autonomy and independence of the justice system, which are responsible for Hong Kong's success and economic prosperity.


In central Mali yesterday at least 23 civilians were killed in an attack on their villages. This follows multiple attacks in recent months. Do you believe the French strategy in the region is proving effective?

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack that took place in central Mali on June 30.

The deployment of the state and Malian public services, the disarmament of militias, and the rapid response of the justice system are more essential than ever to ending the cycle of violence.

The international community is providing support to Malian security forces for this purpose. MINUSMA's mandate in central Mali was strengthened, at France's initiative, by UN Security Council resolution 2480 adopted on June 28.

France welcomes the Malian president's appointment of former President Dioncounda Traoré as high representative in charge of mediation efforts and a team to coordinate the restoration of government services in the central region.

Along with the EU and other Sahel Alliance partners, France is engaged in reconstruction and development efforts in Mali and will provide support for initiatives taken by officials to bring development and stability to the region.


Do you have any comment on the remarks by Senator François Calvet during his trip to Barcelona yesterday?

The French authorities' position on the situation in Catalonia, which has been expressed repeatedly by the President and minister for Europe and foreign affairs, is unwavering. France is committed to Spain's unity and integrity in keeping with its Constitution and the law. Spanish law is part of Europe's legal architecture, and strictly abiding by it is a key condition for the full expression of the rule of law and democracy in Spain as in Europe.

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