The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - September 4, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Iran

◢  Yemen

◢  Libya


The Americans don't seem to be ready to grant Iran exemptions for oil exports. What initial feedback do you have from the discussions?

The current efforts respond to a need to de-escalate tensions, shared by all stakeholders, as the discussions in Biarritz at the G7 demonstrated. As the minister reaffirmed yesterday, the process initiated in Biarritz is not yet complete. There is still a great deal to be done.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared this morning that his country would further reduce its commitments to the nuclear deal and that this would be the most important step. What is your response to these comments?

France has made efforts to de-escalate tensions. As the minister stated, the door has been left half-open. The absence of any further violation of the JCPOA and the return to full compliance with the agreement are obviously the main goals of this process. There must be no actions that could send a bad signal and interfere with efforts to de-escalate tensions.


A report published by the UN investigators argues that France, the United States and the UK could be complicit in war crimes by arming and providing intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen. How do you explain this analysis by the UN investigators of France's role in this conflict?

France does not believe in a military solution to the conflict in Yemen and reaffirms its deep concern at the continued hostilities and humanitarian consequences of the conflict, for which the civilian populations are paying a high price. It strongly condemns the attacks that have resulted in a large number of civilian victims, like the one carried out on September 1 in Dhamar, one of the deadliest attacks since the start of the conflict.

A strict interministerial control system provides a framework for our arms exports. Authorizations are granted in strict compliance with France's international obligations, notably the provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty and the EU Common Position.

France is taking action to promote a political solution in Yemen, the only way to put an end to the conflict. It supports the mediation efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths aimed at relaunching discussions on a comprehensive and inclusive political agreement. Our action falls within the framework of President Macron's efforts to de-escalate regional tensions.


What is your response to the attacks on September 1 against Mitiga civilian airport in Tripoli?

France condemns the attack against Mitiga airport on September 1, 2019. This attack injured passengers and crew members and damaged airport infrastructure, resulting in the suspension of air traffic.

We reiterate to all Libyan parties that they have a duty to protect civilian populations and infrastructure under international humanitarian law.

France calls for an immediate de-escalation, which must lead to a lasting ceasefire and a return to the political process under UN auspices.

France supports the efforts of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Ghassan Salamé to achieve this. In particular, following the G7 statement on August 26, France calls for the swift holding of an inclusive international conference.

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