The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - January 19, 2022
In this issue:

◢  Japan – Meeting of Foreign and Defense Ministers (January 20, 2022)

◢  Tonga – France stands ready to meet the population's urgent needs (January 19, 2022)

◢  Reminder – Jean-Yves Le Drian's conversation with his Kazakh counterpart (January 18, 2022)

◢  Two situations involving Uyghurs

◢  Mali

Japan – Meeting of Foreign and Defense Ministers (January 20, 2022)

On January 20, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly will meet virtually with their Japanese counterparts, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi for the sixth session of French-Japanese political and military consultations at the ministerial level, known as the "2+2 format."

During this meeting, the ministers will exchange views on every aspect of bilateral cooperation relating to security and defense issues - both the operational and legal aspects involved in expanding this cooperation, and technological and industrial cooperation. They will discuss their strategies on the Indo-Pacific and on regional crises and tensions - particularly Iran, the Sahel, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the China Seas and the Korean Peninsula - as well as major global challenges such as climate change, the protection of biodiversity, global health and development issues.

Tonga – France stands ready to meet the population's urgent needs (January 19, 2022)

France stands ready to meet the Tongan people's most pressing needs through the FRANZ mechanism for the regional coordination of humanitarian assistance in the event of natural disasters in the Pacific Island nations.

All possible measures are being taken - coordinated by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs' Crisis and Support Center (CDCS) - to deploy reconnaissance flights operated by the New Caledonian Armed Forces (FANC) to gather information and aerial views of disaster zones, obtain satellite images of the impacted areas, with support from the Airbus Foundation, and deliver drinking water and food from New Caledonia to affected communities. Consultations are under way with Tonga's authorities for this purpose.

Items such as tents, tarps and tool kits, among other items, from the emergency stock in Nouméa maintained by the CDCS, in partnership with the Red Cross, can be mobilized, as well as a water purification unit with a 250,000 liter/day capacity operated by 40 rescue workers from military units of the civil protection service, and purification stations with a 5,000 liter/hour capacity provided by the French Red Cross in New Caledonia.

The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) has been activated and the armed forces in New Caledonia that are always standing by and ready to take action in the Pacific will be able to assist with the delivery of this emergency assistance.

Reminder – Jean-Yves Le Drian's conversation with his Kazakh counterpart (January 18, 2022)

On January 18, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke with Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who is currently in Brussels, where he is meeting with representatives of European institutions.

The minister and his Kazakh counterpart discussed the recent events in Kazakhstan. Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated France's attachment to transparency as regards the circumstances surrounding the acts of violence that took place, which France condemned. He underscored France's support for Kazakh sovereignty and freedom of action in addition to its support for the partnership between Kazakhstan and the European Union as well as its individual Member States.

Two situations involving Uyghurs

France leads other countries in denouncing the treatment of the Uyghurs. Saudi Arabia is preparing to deport two Uyghurs to China where they will be at risk for imprisonment and torture. Would you care to comment?

We have been following the two different situations that you mentioned very closely. France has reiterated its commitment to the preservation of human rights throughout the world and raises this issue in its frank and demanding exchanges with the Saudi authorities.

As you are already aware, France is pursuing talks on human rights matters with China that are demanding in every regard. We consistently express our deep concerns over this matter, especially with regard to the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.


Hello. The Malian government denies that Wagner is in Mali and claims that there are simply Russian trainers there. However, Jean-Yves Le Drian has stated that Wagner is in fact in Mali. What proof do you have of Wagner's presence in Mali?

Please refer to the joint statement that we made on December 23 together with roughly 15 of Mali's international partners in which we strongly condemned the deployment of mercenaries in Mali. I also invite you to read the report published by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on January 9, which expresses the organization's profound concern regarding the deployment of a private security agency to Mali.

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