The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - November 5, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Israel - Palestinian Territories – Approval for the construction of 2,342 homes in the West Bank and infrastructure projects near Bethlehem (November 4, 2019)

◢  Foreign trade – New coordinator for renewable energy exports (November 4, 2019)

◢  Iran

Israel - Palestinian Territories – Approval for the construction of 2,342 homes in the West Bank and infrastructure projects near Bethlehem (November 4, 2019)

France condemns the recent decisions by the Israeli authorities to authorize the construction of 2,342 homes in the West Bank as well as infrastructure projects near Bethlehem.

These decisions come amid a troubling context of accelerated settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and undermine the conditions for a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on the two-state solution.

France calls on the Israeli authorities to abandon these projects as well as any that could jeopardize the two-state solution.

Foreign trade – New coordinator for renewable energy exports (November 4, 2019)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, has appointed Jean-Louis Bal as Coordinator for Renewable Energy Exports.

The appointment of the new coordinator is in line with the government's strategy to support foreign trade presented in February 2018 by the prime minister and is consistent with the deployment in all regions of the "Team France Export" which brings together all public stakeholders supporting French companies. The coordinator, in close collaboration with the "New Energy Systems" Industry Strategic Committee (CSF), is responsible for supporting the renewable energy sector in priority geographic regions by promoting French expertise and its role in innovative sectors, in conjunction with our climate diplomacy initiatives, especially those involving the private sector such as the International Solar Alliance. He will also work to improve the sector's structure in order to encourage SME's and start-ups to become part of a collective approach.

The renewable energy sector is experiencing sustained growth at the global level, driven by lower technology costs and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While 180 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity were installed globally in 2018, the International Energy Agency believes that renewable energy will meet 30% of global electricity demand in 2023 and 40% in 2040. These forecasts represent considerable economic challenges for French companies in this sector, as well as with respect to promoting their expertise.

Jean-Louis Bal has been the chairman of the Renewable Energy Trade Union since March 2011 and was re-elected chairman in October. Prior to that, he held various positions within the Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).


On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced another reduction in the commitments taken by his country on the nuclear issue. Do these announcements fundamentally jeopardize the 2015 agreement and compromise any resumption of dialogue between Washington and Tehran?

We have joined Germany, the United Kingdom and the European External Action Service in repeatedly expressing our deep concern over Iran's recent announcements and actions that run counter to its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA).

Iran's announcement on November 5 that it would increase its enrichment capacity goes against the Vienna agreement, which strictly limits activities in this area. We and our partners are awaiting the IAEA's upcoming reports on Iran's announcements and actions. We reiterate our support for the work carried out by the Agency and reaffirm our confidence in the impartiality and independence with which it monitors and verifies Iran's nuclear commitments and obligations.

We remain committed to the JCPoA and urge Iran to reconsider its decisions which run counter to the agreement, to fully adhere to its obligations, and to fully cooperate with the IAEA, within both the framework of the JCPoA and its other nuclear obligations.

France is fully committed to de-escalating tensions. A return to full compliance with the agreement is one of the key goals of this process, along with the opening of expanded negotiations on regional security and management of the Iranian nuclear program in the long term.

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