The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - January 21, 2022
In this issue:

◢  Germany – Franck Riester's visit to Berlin (January 21, 2022)

◢  EU – Clément Beaune participating in a plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe (Strasbourg - January 21, 2022)

◢  Iraq – Attack in Diyala province (January 21, 2022)

◢  Iran

◢  Mali

 
Germany – Franck Riester's visit to Berlin (January 21, 2022)

Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is in Berlin today for in-depth consultations on the trade policy agenda of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Minister Delegate will meet with Franziska Brantner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, where she is responsible for European economic, industrial and trade policy as well as digital affairs and innovation; and with Udo Philipp, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action responsible for industrial, digital and innovation policy, the funding of SMEs and entrepreneurship. He will also meet with lawmakers, the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and members of Berlin think tanks.

Mr. Riester will discuss the crucial issue of strengthening the ways in which EU trade policy contributes to European prosperity and sovereignty. Apart from defending and reforming the multilateral trading system to restore its full effectiveness in order for it to continue creating opportunities for European businesses, the Minister Delegate will stress the need to strengthen the EU's ability to defend our interests and our companies when faced with the unfair, coercive practices of certain third countries. That means making progress on instruments for reciprocity in public procurement, combating the distortive effects of foreign subsidies on the domestic market, and moving forward with the economic anti-coercion instrument. He will also emphasize the need to continue adapting European trade policy to the challenges of meeting our sustainable development goals by strengthening trade agreements in that regard, revising the EU Generalized Scheme of Preferences and establishing innovative European regulations such as the border carbon adjustment mechanism, the regulation to minimize EU-driven deforestation, and the upcoming corporate due diligence initiative.



EU – Clément Beaune participating in a plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe (Strasbourg - January 21, 2022)

Clément Beaune, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is in Strasbourg today to attend the latest plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

This plenary – the first under the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union – will for the first time address ways to strengthen European democracy, values and the rule of law, as well as the environment and health, based on recommendations by European citizen panels.

France is particularly committed to this exercise, in which it participated fully, hosting 18 regional conferences and an online consultation session. They gave rise to proposals that were presented to the government on November 29.

The end of the Conference's work, on May 9, will be a milestone for the French EU Presidency. Proposals by EU citizens will help make Europe more democratic and more effective, and bring it closer to its people.



Iraq – Attack in Diyala province (January 21, 2022)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms today's terrorist attack on Iraqi security forces that killed several soldiers in Iraq's Diyala Province. France offers its sincere condolences to the deceased soldiers' loved ones and reaffirms its determination to provide its full support to the Iraqi authorities in this situation.

Together with its partners in the Global Coalition against Daesh, France will continue to stand with Iraq in the fight against terrorism.



Iran

Do you believe that Fariba Adelkhah's return to prison and Benjamin Brière's espionage trial are maneuvers by the Iranian authorities to pressure France in the nuclear negotiations?

As we have repeatedly emphasized, Ms. Adelkhah's conviction is not based on any credible evidence; it is purely political and arbitrary. We condemn the decision taken on January 12 to return her to prison with no explanation or prior notification, and we demand her immediate release.

Benjamin Brière was arrested while traveling in Iran as a tourist. Our Embassy maintains regular contact with him in keeping with the right to consular protection set forth in the Vienna Convention of April 24, 1963; his last consular visit was on January 17. Mr. Brière appeared before a court in Mashhad on January 20. We are in constant touch with his family and his lawyer.



Mali

Would France be prepared to reconsider the bilateral defense agreements signed with Mali in 2014?

The defense agreements were renewed by the Malian authorities in 2021. We received a recent request that is currently under study.


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