The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - August 25, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Iran – Telephone conversation between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Iranian counterpart (August 24, 2020)

◢  Philippines – Terrorist attacks (August 24, 2020)

◢  Situation of Mr. Navalny

◢  Lebanon

◢  Mali

 
Iran – Telephone conversation between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Iranian counterpart (August 24, 2020)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke by phone on August 24 with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif.

The minister reiterated the staunch determination of the E3 (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) to preserve the Vienna agreement (JCPoA). In this regard, he reaffirmed our ongoing expectations of Iran and in particular, an end to the Iranian authorities' violations of their commitments under the Vienna agreement and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) so that it is given the access it requests. The minister also underscored our concern over Iran's destabilizing activities and the consequences of the expiration of the UN embargo on conventional weapons, and expressed the E3's determination to seek solutions that preserve regional security and stability.

The minister reiterated France's expectations concerning the immediate release of our compatriot Fariba Adelkhah, who has been detained for more than a year without justification at Evin Prison.

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The minister spoke yesterday with the Iranian foreign minister about the nuclear agreement. Did he provide any signals that Tehran would be prepared to return fully to the agreement and if not, what was the point of triggering the dispute resolution mechanism in January if Iran hasn't changed its position in nine months?

I refer you to today's statement.



Philippines – Terrorist attacks (August 24, 2020)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attacks that killed at least 15 people and injured dozens yesterday in Jolo, in the southern Philippines, according to initial estimates.

France offers its condolences to the victims' families and wishes those injured a speedy recovery. It stands shoulder to shoulder with the Philippines in the fight against terrorism.



Situation of Mr. Navalny

Have you received any information on the health status of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and what do you expect from Russia in this case?

We have been notified of the preliminary results published by the Charité hospital in Berlin, which point to Mr. Navaly having been poisoned.

France expresses its deep concern over this criminal act against a major Russian politician. It is essential for the Russian authorities to expedite a swift, transparent investigation making it possible to establish the circumstances in which this act was committed. Those responsible for this act must be identified and brought to justice.

We wish Alexei Navalny a speedy recovery and reiterate France's readiness, as expressed by President Macron, to provide him and his loved ones with our support in these difficult circumstances.



Lebanon

Does France want to see financial authorities at the European level conduct an audit of deposits into European banks by Lebanese politicians, their spouses, children, relatives and those who work for them?

As President Macron and the foreign minister reiterated, France is doing everything it can to support Lebanon and to encourage the Lebanese authorities to implement the fundamental reforms desired by the Lebanese people and international partners—a key condition for ending the political, socioeconomic and humanitarian crisis in that country.



Mali

Do you believe that a short one-year transition period before new elections in Mali would be preferable to a longer transition that would prioritize eradicating corruption and implementing urgent reforms?

As President Macron said in Brégançon on August 20, France and its European and international partners have a collective presence in Mali at the request of the sovereign people of Mali and all the countries in the region. We and our partners have asked that power be returned as swiftly as possible to civilians and for guarantees of a swift democratic transition. France stands side by side with the people of Mali, as it always has, and supports discussions under way under the auspices of ECOWAS to determine the outlines of this transition.


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