The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - March 10, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Sweden – Meetings between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Amélie de Montchalin with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde (Paris - March 10, 2020)

◢  North Korea – Ballistic missile launches (March 9, 2020)

◢  Cameroon – Attacks in Bamenda and Galim (March 8, 2020)

◢  Burkina Faso – Attacks in Barga and Dinguila (March 8, 2020)

◢  COVID-19 – Mongolia

◢  COVID-19 – Egypt

◢  Lebanon

 
Sweden – Meetings between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Amélie de Montchalin with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde (Paris - March 10, 2020)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will host Ann Linde, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs, today. Their meeting will cover current issues relating to the crises in Syria, the Sahel, Iran, the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as developments in the COVID-19 epidemic. They will also discuss European defense, specifically the European Defence Fund and the European Intervention Initiative. Questions of European digital sovereignty, particularly cybersecurity and 5G, will also be addressed.

Following that meeting, Ms. Linde will be received by Amélie de Montchalin, minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Their meeting will cover European issues, specifically the EU's future relationship with the United Kingdom and the EU adhesion process for the countries of the Western Balkans. The ministers will also discuss bilateral cooperation on promoting women's rights, and in particular, Sweden's participation in the Generation Equality Forum to be held in Paris on July 7-8, and the joint strategy to combat human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation.

The bilateral relationship between France and Sweden is multifaceted. We share with Sweden the vision of an international order based on multilateralism, respect for the rule of law and democracy. Sweden is one of France's key partners on a large very number of international issues.



North Korea – Ballistic missile launches (March 9, 2020)

We noted with concern reports of the possible firing of ballistic missiles yesterday by North Korea.

France reiterates its condemnation of these repeated missile launches, which undermine the region's security and stability and violate pertinent UN Security Council resolutions.

France calls on North Korea to comply with Security Council resolutions and commit swiftly and sincerely to a process for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its weapons of mass destruction programs.



Cameroon – Attacks in Bamenda and Galim (March 8, 2020)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks carried out on March 8 in the town of Bamenda, in northwestern Cameroon, during International Women's Day celebrations, and in Galim, in the western part of the country, leaving several dead including civilians.

France offers its condolences to the families of the deceased and its wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured.



Burkina Faso – Attacks in Barga and Dinguila (March 8, 2020)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks carried out on March 8 in Barga and Dinguila, in northern Burkina Faso, resulting in several dozen civilian casualties. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions.

France offers its condolences to the victims' families and to the people of Burkina Faso.



COVID-19 – Mongolia

Do you have any information on the French national infected with COVID-19 in Mongolia with respect to his stay/ mission in the country?

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of France in Ulan Bator are fully mobilized. They are in touch with the Mongolian authorities and with our compatriot, whose situation we are closely monitoring.



COVID-19 – Egypt

Can you give us the latest information available regarding the French citizens placed under quarantine on the cruise ship in Egypt?

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of France in Cairo are fully mobilized. They are in touch with the Egyptian authorities and the tour operators in order to carry out the necessary checks. Our consular services in Egypt are in contact with our compatriots.

As you know, the situation is evolving rapidly and the authorities of each country concerned will have to take measures relating to the COVID-19 crisis.

Our compatriots are urged to consult the travel advice page of the France Diplomatie website (https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/), which is constantly updated based on the public health recommendations issued by the Ministry for Solidarity and Health. We would like to remind French travelers that we recommend that they register on the ministry's Ariane platform in order to receive alerts.

We encourage French residents to sign up to the registry of French nationals abroad and to update, if necessary, the contact information provided to the consular services (cell phone number, email address).



Lebanon

What is your response to the announcement yesterday by Lebanon that it would default on the $1.2 billion Eurobond payment due on March 9?

We have taken note of the announcement by the Lebanese prime minister that Lebanon would suspend the payment of its debt obligations due on March 9, 2020, as well as the Lebanese authorities' willingness to restructure the country's debt.

As called for by the international community during the meeting of the International Support Group in Paris in December, and in accordance with the commitments made by the Lebanese authorities, Lebanon's economic and financial situation demands prompt and concrete measures.

The Lebanese prime minister expressed his determination to initiate reforms in order to respond to the economic, social and political aspirations of the Lebanese people. These announcements must now be put into action - the only way to restore confidence among the Lebanese people as well as donors. These reforms must be undertaken in the general interest of all Lebanese people.


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