The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - March 30, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Saudi Arabia – Missile attacks (March 28, 2020)

◢  Covid-19 – China

◢  Covid-19 – Hungary

Saudi Arabia – Missile attacks (March 28, 2020)

France condemns the indiscriminate missile attacks against the cities of Riyadh and Jazan on March 28. While priority must be given to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the continuation of the hostilities is exacerbating the human toll of the conflict in Yemen, which is entering its sixth year, and diminishing prospects for finding a political solution.

France calls on all parties to respond to the appeal for a comprehensive ceasefire launched by the UN secretary-general within the framework of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and to initiate talks to resolve the crisis.

The resumption of discussions on a comprehensive and inclusive political agreement is the only real way to put an end to the conflict in Yemen. France reaffirms its support for the UN's efforts to that end.

Covid-19 – China

The Embassy of China in France published some scathing comments on its website regarding the management of the health crisis in Europe, compared to China's example. Are such statements consistent with the status of a diplomatic mission? Has the embassy crossed a red line?

In the context of a crisis that is affecting everyone, there is no place for polemics. The unity of all in order to effectively combat Covid-19 takes precedence over any other consideration. We must therefore work toward promoting the unity of the international community. Reciprocal acts of solidarity between China and France reflect our determination to tackle the epidemic in a coordinated manner.

I would like to remind you that a coordinated approach has been adopted in European countries in order to combat Covid-19, notably since the European Council meeting on March 10 convened on France's initiative. The European institutions commended efforts to promote solidarity between member states, including France.

Covid-19 – Hungary

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is calling for drastically enhanced powers in order to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, prompting concern by the Hungarian opposition and indeed the Council of Europe. Does Paris consider these powers to be compatible with respect for democratic principles?

France's European partners, including Hungary, have taken unprecedented measures to combat the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

In these exceptional circumstances, European institutions remain responsible for ensuring respect for the rule of law within member states, within the framework of the European treaties. The various Council of Europe bodies also issued recommendations to ensure that these measures are adopted in accordance with the fundamental guarantees of the rule of law and other fundamental principles.

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