The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - June 16, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Mali – Attacks on Malian Armed Forces and MINUSMA (June 13 and 14, 2020)

◢  Iran / Nuclear issue

◢  U.S.

◢  North Korea

◢  Libya

Mali – Attacks on Malian Armed Forces and MINUSMA (June 13 and 14, 2020)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack on the Malian Armed Forces southeast of Diabaly, in Central Mali, on June 14, which left many soldiers dead, and the attack on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) between Tessalit and Gao, in northeastern Mali, on June 13, which took the lives of two Egyptian peacekeepers.

France offers its condolences to the deceased soldiers' loved ones and to the Malian and Egyptian authorities.

France reiterates its support for the authorities of the countries of the Sahel in their fight against terrorism, and for MINUSMA, which is playing a vital role in the stabilization of Mali.

The perpetrators of these attacks must be identified and held accountable for their actions.

Iran / Nuclear issue

What does France expect from the meeting of IAEA governors following the last IAEA report showing that Iran continues to refuse access to sites that could have conducted clandestine nuclear activities in the 2000s?

Like every other nation to which the IAEA sends a request for access, Iran must respond promptly and unconditionally to allow IAEA inspectors to ascertain the absence of undeclared nuclear activities and materials on its soil. This is essential to preserving the IAEA's authority and the strength of its verification regime.

The IAEA Board of Governors, which is meeting this week in Vienna, will examine the Director General's report on this matter. Our goal, along with that of our British and German partners, is to see the Council express its support for the professional, impartial work of the Director General and the Agency, and to call on Iran to cooperate fully and promptly with the IAEA, particularly by granting the requested access.


Federal executions are resuming in the United States on July 13, after a 17-year hiatus. Do you have any comment on this decision?

France reaffirms its unwavering opposition to the death penalty worldwide and in all circumstances. It remains resolutely committed to the universal abolition of this unjust, inhumane and ineffective punishment. It calls on all nations that still apply the death penalty to establish a moratorium on it ahead of its ultimate abolition.

North Korea

Are you afraid of an escalation between Pyongyang and Seoul following North Korea's destruction of the Inter-Korean Liaison Office?

North Korea's destruction of the Inter-Korean Liaison Office in Kaesong is contrary to the establishment of a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. We call on North Korea to refrain from any behavior liable to fuel an escalation in tensions and to resume a good-faith dialogue with that in mind.


What is your response to the discovery of mass graves in the town of Tarhouna, Libya, containing hundreds of remains including those of women and children?

The discovery of mass graves in Tarhouna is deeply shocking. A thorough investigation must be conducted into this very serious matter and those responsible must be brought to justice.

This event underscores once again the urgent need for the parties to the conflict to observe an immediate truce and to swiftly reach a ceasefire agreement under the auspices of the UN.

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