The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - August 10, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Niger – Reminder of the communiqué issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (August 10, 2020)

◢  Hong Kong

◢  Belarus

 
Niger – Reminder of the communiqué issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (August 10, 2020)

I utterly condemn the deadly attack against a group of humanitarian workers yesterday in the Kouré area in Niger.

I extend my condolences to the families and friends of the victims who were murdered in a cowardly attack, as well as to the Nigerien authorities and people. The perpetrators of this despicable attack must be held accountable.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs' Crisis and Support Center and the Embassy of France in Niamey are fully mobilized, in close coordination with the Nigerien authorities and the NGO, ACTED, in order to provide all the necessary support and assistance to the victims' families at this tragic time.

France is determined to ensure that the imperative to protect humanitarian and health workers is respected.

As President Macron reaffirmed during his discussion with his Nigerien counterpart, every effort is being and will be made to clarify the circumstances of this deadly attack. Our two countries remain determined to continue the joint fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel.

Following yesterday's attack in Niger against members of the NGO ACTED, will French troops adjust their deployment and action in the region? Will you change the travel advisory for the area? Do you know if this attack was specifically targeted against French citizens?

Please refer to the communiqué issued by the minister today.



Hong Kong

Do you have any comment on the arrest of the Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai under the guise of the security law?

We learned of Jimmy Lai's arrest and detention in Hong Kong and of the search of the premises of his Apple Daily newspaper on the basis of the national security law.

France reaffirms its commitment to the freedom of the press and opinion worldwide. It demands that all of Mr. Lai's rights be respected.

As the EU emphasized, respect for human rights and fundamental liberties is a central tenet of the Basic Law and the "one country two systems" principle.



Belarus

What is your assessment of the presidential election held on Sunday in Belarus? The incumbent, Alexander Lukashenko, declared himself the winner with 80% of the vote while the opposition claimed to have won a "majority."

We remind you of the statement by the foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle (France-Germany-Poland) on August 7.We had already expressed our concern over voting conditions in the absence of monitors from the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the parliamentary assemblies of the OSCE and Council of Europe.

The results must be made public in a way that is both complete and transparent.

We were also concerned by the violence perpetrated against Belarusian citizens who came out to protest after polling places were closed, and call for the utmost restraint.



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