The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - January 28, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Syria – Military offensive by the Syrian regime in Idlib Province (January 28, 2020)

◢  Coronavirus

Syria – Military offensive by the Syrian regime in Idlib Province (January 28, 2020)

France strongly condemns the indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian regime and its supporters in Idlib and Aleppo Provinces over the last few weeks, in violation of international humanitarian law. The strikes targeted against infrastructure and medical personnel are continuing. Since the announcement of a ceasefire, there have been several dozen civilian casualties.

The current military offensive is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Idlib. According to the UN, 389,000 civilians have been forced to flee the fighting since December 1.

In the face of the deteriorating humanitarian crisis, France allocated almost €19 million to meet the needs of the civilian populations in northwestern Syria in 2019, including additional emergency aid of more than €5 million at the end of the year.

The current offensive is undermining the search for a negotiated political solution under UN auspices.


What information can you give us regarding the evacuation of French nationals from Wuhan? When will the Paris-Wuhan flight chartered by Paris arrive and take off again? How many French citizens will be on board tomorrow? Have some of them been affected by the coronavirus? Who are the members of the team tasked with this repatriation operation?

I join Franck Mathevon in asking whether several flights have been planned. Spread over what period? Do you also have details regarding where these individuals will be housed? Will they all be in the same place or spread throughout France? How many people have formally indicated that they wish to return to France? Mr. Djebbari mentioned an initial repatriation on Thursday and a second at a later date, with those individuals showing symptoms. Can you confirm this information?

As you know, for public health reasons, the overall coordination of the response to the 2019-nCoV coronavirus crisis is entrusted to the Ministry for Solidarity and Health.

In this context, the operation to repatriate, via direct flights to France, those French nationals wishing to leave Wuhan is being coordinated by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Solidarity and Health, the Ministry for the Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior. It is being led by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs' Crisis and Support Center.

All arrangements for the operation, which will fully comply with public health recommendations, continue to require planning, in close cooperation with the Chinese authorities. Medical screening prior to boarding, carried out by French specialist teams, will allow the return flights to take place under the best possible public health conditions for all.

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