The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - July 24, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Iran – Reminder of the statement by the spokesperson for the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (July 23, 2019)

◢  Togo – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Togolese counterpart (Paris - July 24, 2019)

◢  Chile - Brazil – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (July 25-30, 2019)

◢  Syria – Situation in Idlib (July 24, 2019)

◢  Iran

Iran – Reminder of the statement by the spokesperson for the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (July 23, 2019)

Abbas Araghchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, was in Paris on July 23 for consultations at the request of President Rouhani, following his telephone conversation last Thursday with President Macron.

Mr. Araghchi was formally received by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and held in-depth discussions with his French counterpart, the director-general for political affairs and security, on the possible parameters of a de-escalation. He was received by the Office of the President, where he was able to deliver a message from President Rouhani to President Macron.

These discussions were part of efforts under way to prevent a further rise in tensions. They provided the opportunity, in particular, to remind the Iranian President's envoy that we expect Iran to swiftly resume compliance with its commitments under the Vienna agreement and to make the necessary gestures to initiate a crucial de-escalation.

Togo – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Togolese counterpart (Paris - July 24, 2019)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will receive Togo's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Dussey, today.

During their meeting, the minister and Mr. Dussey, chief negotiator for the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, will discuss negotiations on the new Cotonou Agreement for the post-2020 period, which are moving forward and entering a decisive phase.

The two ministers will also discuss cooperation between France and Togo on matters of common interest such as regional security.

Finally, Mr. Le Drian will reaffirm France's support for Togo in the areas of education and vocational training, health, and urban development. He will underscore the priority placed on providing support for young people.

Chile - Brazil – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (July 25-30, 2019)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in Chile from July 25-27 and in Brazil from July 27-30.

  • In Chile, the minister will be received by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and will meet with his counterpart, Teodoro Ribera. He will also meet with COP25 president Carolina Schm idt. These meetings will provide opportunities to continue the political dialogue initiated with Chile during President Piñera's visit to France in October 2018. The minister and his interlocutors will underscore our two countries' determination to commit together to action on the climate ahead of the G7 summit in Biarritz, which will be attended by President Piñera, and of the COP25, which will be held in Santiago on December 2-13. Finally, Mr. Le Drian will review the implementation of the joint roadmap, notably with regard to growing economic ties between France and Chile.
  • In Brazil, the minister will be received by President Jair Bolsonaro and by his counterpart, Ernesto Araujo.

With his interlocutors, the minister will discuss the implementation of the strategic partnership between our two countries, as well as the expansion of trade, university exchanges, and defense-related exchanges. Our demands ahead of the conclusion of the agreement between the EU and Mercosur, and environmental issues ahead of the COP25 in Santiago, will also be on the agenda.

During his visit, the minister will travel to Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. He will also visit the naval base of Itaguaí, a major bilateral cooperation project between our two countries.

Mr. Le Drian will have the opportunity to meet with numerous representatives of Brazil's federal states, civil society and its economic community to discuss our perception of various challenges in French-Brazilian relations.

Syria – Situation in Idlib (July 24, 2019)

France expresses its concern over the escalation under way in Idlib province. Intense and indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian air force in Idlib province, especially that of a market in the city of Maarat al-Numan, caused the death of some 59 civilians, according to the UN. France condemns the indiscriminate air strikes carried out by the regime and its allies, especially against civilian infrastructures.

Since the beginning of the offensive, several hundred civilians have been killed and more than 300,000 have been forced to leave the area, according to the UN. In light of this humanitarian crisis, France has released €5 million in emergency aid to the UN Humanitarian Fund based in Gaziantep.

France calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Idlib province and reaffirms the special responsibility of the allies of the Syrian regime in preserving a lasting ceasefire. Continuing hostilities compromise the search for a credible negotiated political solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.


Yesterday Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov unveiled Russia's collective security concept for the Persian Gulf. The document he presented states that nations in the region and extra-regional parties accept the obligations of mutual transparency in the military arena and agree to a dialogue in compliance with military doctrines, meetings of defense ministers at the sub-regional level, the establishment of direct lines, prior notice in the event of military exercises and overflights by military aircraft, an exchange of monitors, a rejection of the regular deployment of groups of extra-regional states in Persian Gulf countries, and an exchange of information on weapons purchases and armed forces. What do you think of these proposals? Are you considering supporting Russian efforts by backing this concept?

We are working to de-escalate tensions in the region, and naturally we are speaking to all our international partners, including Russia.

The minister unveiled our approach yesterday at the National Assembly and in our press briefing. I refer you to both of these.

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