The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - February 6, 2020
In this issue:

◢  United Nations – International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (February 6, 2020)

◢  Syria – Idlib

◢  Islam Alloush

United Nations – International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (February 6, 2020)

On this International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, France calls on the international community to intensify its efforts to put an end to these practices. These mutilations constitute a violation of the integrity, dignity, security and rights of girls and women. They constitute a major obstacle to achieving gender equality.

France, which is strongly committed to defending the rights of girls and women, has made gender equality a priority of its diplomatic action. France was the first European country to criminalize the practice of female genital mutilation and took strong and resolute action to combat this scourge within the framework of the presidencies of the G7 and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2019. It lends its support to the civil society actors and maternal and child health programs on the ground, such as the French Muskoka Fund and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The promotion of women's rights will be central to the issues addressed by the Generation Equality Forum - to be hosted by France in July -, convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico.

Syria – Idlib

What is France's response to the artillery fire by the Damascus regime against Turkish soldiers in Idlib Province? Do you believe, like the United States, that the Turkish response was justified, and that Ankara should be supported given the potential for escalation?

We are extremely concerned about the situation in Idlib and the potential for escalation following the strikes by the Syrian regime against the positions established in the context of the implementation of the agreement reached in Sochi on September 17, 2018.

We call for the immediate cessation of hostilities in Idlib Province. The allies of the Syrian regime have a special responsibility in this respect.

The indiscriminate bombing by the regime and its supporters violate international humanitarian law. The military offensive by the regime and its allies in Idlib Province exacerbates the humanitarian crisis and undermines the search for a negotiated political solution to the Syrian crisis in accordance with UNSCR 2254.

Islam Alloush

In what circumstances did Islam Alloush, formerly a senior figure in the Syrian Salafist group Jaish al-Islam, who is suspected of war crimes, receive a visa to study in Aix-en-Provence? Was this visa issued by the French consulate in Istanbul, as several sources close to the case report, and on what basis?

A short-stay visa was issued on the basis of a complete file, after he was questioned by the appropriate ministerial departments.

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