The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - February 23, 2022
In this issue:

◢  Germany – Jean-Yves Le Drian attending German Cabinet meeting (Berlin - February 23, 2022)

◢  Thailand – Conversation between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart, Don Pramudwinai (February 22, 2022)

◢  The Indian Ocean Commission – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne presides over the 36th Council of Ministers of the IOC (Paris - February 23, 2022)

◢  Saudi Arabia – France strongly condemns the drone strike on the Jizan airport (February. 23, 2022)

 
Germany – Jean-Yves Le Drian attending German Cabinet meeting (Berlin - February 23, 2022)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian traveled to Berlin today to attend a meeting of the German Cabinet.

Discussions focused on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the situation in the Sahel. The minister – who was received by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock prior to the meeting – also provided an update on the main issues being tackled by the French presidency of the EU Council. Following the Cabinet meeting, the French and German foreign ministers gave a joint press conference.

Mr. Le Drian emphasized the close cooperation between France and Germany on all these issues and their shared determination to respond firmly to President Putin's decision to recognize the self-proclaimed autonomous republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Today's adoption of the first European sanctions illustrates the firmness, unity and responsibility shown by Europeans in dealing with violations of both international law and Ukraine's territorial integrity.

In response to the Malian authorities' radical strategy, the minister stressed our commitment to remain engaged in the Sahel and to continue working closely with Germany and all of our European and African partners to combat terrorism.

The Aachen Treaty signed on January 22, 2019, stipulates that once per quarter, a member of the French or German government shall attend the Cabinet meeting of the other government, on an alternating basis. After first attending a German Cabinet meeting on March 27, 2019, Mr. Le Drian is the first member of the French government to take part in a German Cabinet meeting headed by Olaf Scholz.



Thailand – Conversation between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart, Don Pramudwinai (February 22, 2022)

Yesterday, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian hosted Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, Don Pramudwinai.

Mr. Le Drian welcomed Mr. Pramudwinai's participation in the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which was organized by France as part of its presidency of the EU Council and reaffirmed the European partners' commitment to strengthening ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) through concrete cooperation. He reiterated the desire expressed by France, as an ASEAN Development Partner, to join two working groups of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM+) as an observer. This initiative enjoys broad support within ASEAN.

France has longstanding relations with Thailand, which is home to Asia's second-largest French community. To express their common commitment to expanding these ties, the two ministers signed a roadmap for French-Thai relations covering the period of 2022-2024. It will pave the way for strengthened cooperation in such areas as innovation, biodiversity and health. In keeping with France's vaccine solidarity policy, a donation of 400,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will soon be delivered to Thailand.

Lastly, Mr. Le Drian expressed his deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Burma. He reaffirmed France's support for ASEAN's efforts to resolve the crisis and the need to fully implement the five-point consensus, including the establishment of a political dialogue incorporating all stakeholders and the urgent need for safe, unhindered humanitarian access to affected areas. He also underscored the key role that Thailand could play in the humanitarian response to the crisis.



The Indian Ocean Commission – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne presides over the 36th Council of Ministers of the IOC (Paris - February 23, 2022)

Today in Paris, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister Delegate for Tourism, French Nationals Abroad and Francophonie, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, attached to the Minister of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery, will preside over the 36th Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

The Minister Delegate will meet with the Foreign Ministers of Madagascar, the Union of the Comoros and Seychelles in addition to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Mauritius. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will present an overview of the French presidency of the IOC, which is part of France's broader Indo-Pacific strategy. During its presidency, France has succeeded in meeting the goals it set for itself in the areas of economic recovery, job training and mobility, maritime safety, natural disaster and health disaster management, the environment and the blue economy. The job training meetings notably made it possible to establish the roadmap for a regional mobility program that President Macron had announced in Réunion in October 2019.

The Council of Ministers will also highlight the financial partnerships established by the IOC, in particular with the European Union, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Green Climate Fund.

Two agreements will be signed on the occasion of this Council of Ministers. The first agreement, concluded by the IOC and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), aims to strengthen cooperation between these two major players in the Indo-Pacific region. The second agreement, concluded by the IOC and the AFD, will cover the funding of a €5 million project that seeks to support cultural initiatives in the region.

Following the Council of Ministers, France will hand over the year-long presidency of the IOC to Madagascar.



Saudi Arabia – France strongly condemns the drone strike on the Jizan airport (February. 23, 2022)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the February 21st attack on the Jizan airport, which injured several civilians.

This attack, like the previous attacks from the past few weeks targeting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, threatens regional stability and confirms the gravity of the threat to the entire region that is posed by the proliferation of drones and missiles.

France reiterates its call for de-escalation in the region and for compliance with international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians. France reaffirms its steadfast determination to take action in order to foster regional security and stability.

We are continuing to mobilize all our efforts to bring about a cessation of hostilities in Yemen and a revival of discussions with the goal of reaching a political agreement under the auspices of the United Nations. We call on all parties, and the Houthis first and foremost, to constructively engage in a political process in order to resolve the crisis in Yemen with the support of the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy.


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