The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - April 22, 2020
In this issue:

◢  European Union – Jean-Yves Le Drian's participation in the General Affairs Council (via video conference) (April 22, 2020)

◢  European Union – Amélie de Montchalin's participation in the video conference of minsters for European affairs (April 22, 2020)

◢  Egypt

◢  Covid-19 – Chile

European Union – Jean-Yves Le Drian's participation in the General Affairs Council (via video conference) (April 22, 2020)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the video conference of EU foreign ministers today.

The following points will be addressed:

  • Covid-19: The ministers will take stock of the situation regarding the EU's response to the crisis. They will discuss the numerous operations to repatriate European citizens stranded while traveling abroad temporarily and EU mobilization to support the most vulnerable third countries, especially in Africa. Jean-Yves Le Drian will call for increased EU mobilization, notably in terms of sending equipment and humanitarian personnel to support the African continent, within the framework of the implementation of the global response announced by the European Commission. The ministers will also discuss the consequences of the health crisis for the EU's eastern neighborhood countries. France will welcome the measures announced by the EU to help the Eastern Partnership countries.
  • Ukraine: The minister will reaffirm the support of France and the EU for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, while stressing the need for Kiev to implement the reforms that are crucial to the country's future. Together with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, he will inform his counterparts about the latest developments within the framework of the Normandy format, notably the exchange of prisoners on April 16; he will underscore the importance of implementing the commitments made during the conference in Paris.
  • Libya: The ministers will address the political, security and humanitarian situation, regarding which resolute action is required in order to ensure that all parties implement the so-called Berlin commitments.
  • Eastern Mediterranean: The ministers will underscore the EU's attachment to respect for international law in the eastern Mediterranean, notably with respect to Turkey's illegal drilling in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone.

European Union – Amélie de Montchalin's participation in the video conference of minsters for European affairs (April 22, 2020)

Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part in the informal meeting of ministers for European affairs today via video conference.

On the eve of the meeting of heads of state and government, the ministers will discuss the response by the EU and its member states to the Covid-19 crisis.

This meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss the joint efforts needed to resolve the crisis and prepare for its aftermath. The minister will underscore the importance of implementing a joint strategy to end the crisis and getting to work immediately on developing an ambitious economic recovery plan. She will also call for vigilance when it comes to abiding by the rule of law and fundamental liberties in the measures taken by member states to respond to the crisis and will support the efforts undertaken by the European Commission.

Finally, Amélie de Montchalin will reaffirm France's desire to think about the aftermath of the crisis, using the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which will help involve citizens in discussions on ways to increase solidarity in Europe and make it more responsive, more sovereign and give it greater strategic autonomy, especially in crucial sectors.


The Egyptian-Palestinian human rights activist Ramy Shaath, who has been jailed since July in Egypt, along with the former legislator Zyad El-Elaimy, were added by a court to the Egyptian list of "terrorist entities and individuals" in their absence and in the absence of their lawyers. What is your response? Are French diplomats working on this issue?

France maintains a frank and rigorous dialogue with the Egyptian authorities on human rights that covers certain individual cases and is an integral part of our bilateral relationship.

We are closely following the case of Ramy Shaath and are in close contact with his wife, Céline Lebrun Shaath.

Covid-19 – Chile

French nationals stranded in Chile are still asking to be brought home. How many people are still in this situation, according to your estimates, and in which countries, specifically?

The French Embassy in Chile, in conjunction with the crisis unit of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs dealing with the return of French citizens and Air France, remains fully mobilized and is continuing its efforts to facilitate the return of French nationals temporarily in that country.

Efforts by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and its network enabled the return of more than 170,000 of our fellow citizens who were temporarily abroad in more than 100 countries, amid very limited air travel and border closings.

Our embassies and consulates are receiving new requests by French nationals who are temporarily abroad and wish to return home. They are closely monitoring the situation of our compatriots and keeping them informed of potential solutions in a national or European framework.

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