The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - May 28, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Portugal – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Portuguese counterpart (via videoconference - May 27, 2020)

◢  EU – Participation of Jean-Yves Le Drian in the EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting (via videoconference - May 29, 2020)

◢  Algeria

◢  Hong Kong

 
Portugal – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Portuguese counterpart (via videoconference - May 27, 2020)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian held a videoconference yesterday with his Portuguese counterpart, Augusto Santos Silva.

The two ministers stressed the importance of a strong, solidarity-based European response to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic for the European economy. This requires an ambitious European recovery plan and a revised future European budget that are consistent with the priority the EU gives to the ecological and digital transitions. They underscored the need for European coordination in the implementation of strategies to end lockdowns and reopen borders.

Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart emphasized the importance of multidimensional support for Africa in the fight against the pandemic and the priority need to strengthen the partnership between the EU and Africa in this regard. They discussed the situation in the Sahel.

They agreed to continue consulting closely on all of these issues and on the preparation of the Portuguese and French presidencies of the European Union Council in 2021 and 2022, in particular during an upcoming visit by the minister to Lisbon.

Mr. Le Drian and his counterpart stressed the excellence of our bilateral relationship and exchanged views on prospects for the French-Portuguese cross-cultural events agreed to in principle in July 2018.



EU – Participation of Jean-Yves Le Drian in the EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting (via videoconference - May 29, 2020)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will take part in tomorrow's videoconference of EU foreign ministers. They will discuss the following points:

  • Relations between the EU and China: the meeting will largely be devoted to preparations for the EU-China summit and the summit of European and Chinese heads of state and government. The meeting will serve to bolster European unity and cohesion on our main goals for these summits, the most important being strengthening multilateralism, re-balancing the European-Chinese relationship by improving reciprocity, and an ambitious agenda on fighting climate change. France will stress the importance of implementing the March 2019 Joint Communication by European institutions on the strategic outlook for EU-China relations, both internal and external.
  • Asia-Pacific: the ministers will review the EU's response to the Covid-19 crisis in the Asia-Pacific region and more broadly will discuss political, economic and security relations with the Indo-Pacific countries. On this occasion, France will encourage the EU to expand cooperation with these countries on regional crises and to develop an ambitious agenda on cooperation in the areas of health; combating climate change, in connection with trade policy, among other things; and sustainable connectivity and digital affairs.
  • The latest political and security developments in Afghanistan. The ministers will reaffirm that the level of EU commitment in that country will depend on progress on the political process and respect for human rights.



Algeria

What is France's response to the recall of Algeria's ambassador to Paris following the airing by French networks of documentaries on the Hirak movement?

All media outlets enjoy complete editorial independence. It is protected by the law in France.

In keeping with the deep and longstanding relationship between our two countries, to which we attach the greatest importance, France fully respects Algeria's sovereignty.

On that basis, we intend to continue expanding our bilateral relations.



Hong Kong

Today the Chinese Parliament is examining a security bill that could threaten Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms in the former British colony. They United States is already raising the specter of trade sanctions. How will France respond to the adoption of this text?

I refer you to the Declaration on behalf of the European Union issued on May 22 and the minister's statements to the Senate yesterday.


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