The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - February 18, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Development – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne's participation in the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (Paris - February 18, 2020)

◢  Spain – Visit by Amélie de Montchalin (February 18, 2020)

◢  Situation of Fariba Adelkah and Roland Marchal

◢  Situation of Alexander Vinnik

◢  Cameroon

◢  Venezuela

Development – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne's participation in the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (Paris - February 18, 2020)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, convened the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (CNDSI) on February 18 to discuss the draft legislation on guidelines and programming for solidarity-based development and the fight against global inequality.

The CNDSI, a unique forum for dialogue and consultation with non-state actors on the guidelines, coherence and means of French development policy, took stock of the proposals made by French development partners since the start of the consultation process, in the context of which the CNDSI has met three times in 2018 and 2019.

The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) and then the Council of State will deliver a formal opinion on the draft legislation before it is presented to the Council of Ministers and then Parliament.

Spain – Visit by Amélie de Montchalin (February 18, 2020)

Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is visiting Spain on February 18, where she will meet with her new Spanish counterpart, Juan Gonzalez-Barba. She will meet with the members of the Joint Committee on European Affairs of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. These meetings will provide an opportunity to continue our close coordination on European issues with Spain and to strengthen our bilateral cooperation, which is already exceptionally strong, a few weeks after the inauguration of Pedro Sanchez's new government.

A trilateral meeting between French, Spanish and Portuguese leaders, with the participation of Ana Paula Zacarias, Portugal's Minister of State for European Affairs, will also help strengthen trilateral cooperation on the future of the EU, following on from the meeting in Lisbon in the same format on July 11, 2019. There is a strong convergence of views between our three countries regarding many European issues, including the negotiation of a future European budget which will be the focus of an extraordinary European Council meeting on February 20, the strengthening of the Economic and Monetary Union, the fight against climate change and the determination to build a social Europe. Migration issues and preparations for the conference on the future of Europe will also be discussed during this meeting.

During her visit, the minister of state will also meet with representatives of the French community in Spain.

Situation of Fariba Adelkah and Roland Marchal

In Iran, the trial of researchers Fariba Adelkah and Roland Marchal is due to start on March 3, according to their lawyer, despite calls for their release by the French authorities. What is France's response today? Are you worried about the outcome of this trial?

At his meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Munich on Saturday, Jean-Yves Le Drian once again emphasized France's expectations with regard to the immediate release of our two citizens.

We continue to mobilize all our efforts to get the Iranian authorities to make the expected gestures with respect to consular access, which must be regular and in line with Iran's international commitments, and to the release of our compatriots.

Situation of Alexander Vinnik

Russia says it has requested Alexander Vinnik's extradition. Can you confirm this information and, if so, spell out France's position on this request?

The Embassy of the Russian Federation conveyed an extradition request to the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs for Alexander Vinnik, a Russian citizen; it was issued on January 24 by the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation and was forwarded to the French Ministry of Justice on January 31.

Pursuant to a European arrest warrant issued by France, Greece extradited Alexander Vinnik to France on January 23 on the sole basis of the actions detailed in this arrest warrant.

Any potential re-extradition to another country following his trial by French judicial authorities must be authorized by the Greek authorities.


Is France preparing a joint communiqué with other countries and the UN on the massacre of villagers by security forces in Cameroon? What would it say?

We condemn the violence that led to the death of a large number of residents, including children, of a village in the Northwest Region of Cameroon.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and to the people of Cameroon.

We hope this tragic event will be fully investigated and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions.


The government of Venezuela accused the French ambassador to that country, Romain Nadal, of interfering in its domestic affairs after he met with Juan Guaidó. What is France's response?

France rejects the Venezuelan authorities' accusations against the French ambassador to Venezuela, which they expressed when he was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday in Caracas. The ambassador's presence, along with that of other European diplomatic heads, at the Caracas airport on February 11 on the occasion of Juan Guaidó's return to Venezuela was aimed solely at preventing any violence and promoting the political solution in Venezuela supported by France. It was consistent with France's recognition of Mr. Guaidó as president of the National Assembly of Venezuela and acting president in charge of implementing the electoral process.

France reminded the Venezuelan ambassador to France of this unambiguous position when he was summoned to the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs on February 18.

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