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Official speeches and statements - August 29, 2017

Published on August 29, 2017

1. Iraq - Visit by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - August 26, 2017)

Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, has been visiting Iraq on 25 and 26 August with Mme Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces.

Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian met the President of the Republic of Iraq, Mr Fuad Masum, the Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, and his Iraqi counterpart, Mr Ibrahim al-Jaafari. He also met the Kurdish authorities, including the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Mr Masoud Barzani.

The victory of Iraqi forces in Mosul represents a decisive blow to Daesh’s [so-called ISIL’s] territorial claims, and the group’s grasp on Iraqi territory continues to weaken. This battle was launched in October 2016 with the French army providing support to the Iraqi forces, whose bravery was commended by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The fight against Daesh must continue in order to liberate the areas of Iraq still under occupation, notably Tal Afar, Hawija and Anbar Province. Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian is assuring his interlocutors of France’s constant commitment alongside them to defeat the terrorist organization and is also reiterating our commitment to protecting civilians.

France will support the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq in order to achieve sustainable peace which reconciles all parts of Iraqi society. It is with this goal in mind that Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed the attribution of a loan of €430 million to Iraq for 2017. This loan will allow the country to access international funding programs with greater ease, something which is key to helping the reconstruction phase.

This visit also gives new momentum to the relationship between our two countries in all areas. France wishes to develop its links with Iraq in all fields, including political dialogue, economic relations and cooperation efforts.

For further information, please consult the press kit at the following address: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/dossiers-pays/irak/evenements/article/irak-deplacement-de-jean-yves-le-drian-25-26-08-17.

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2. North Korea - Missile launches - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - August 26, 2017)

France strongly condemns the new missile launches carried out by North Korea this morning towards the Sea of Japan.

These launches, which violate United Nations Security Council resolutions, are a threat to regional and international security.

France calls on North Korea to comply with its international obligations and to carry out a complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear and ballistic programs. France will continue to work closely with the Security Council and its partners to achieve this.

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3. Brexit - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson - excerpts (Paris - August 28, 2017)

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Q. - Citing French diplomatic sources, the Daily Telegraph reports that France indicated it wants Brexit trade negotiations to begin in October. Do you have any comment on that?

THE SPOKESPERSON - Discussions on future relations between the EU and the United Kingdom will only be possible if sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the negotiations.

Along with Michel Barnier, we hope the upcoming negotiating sessions, beginning with the one starting today, fully clarify the British position. It is up to the United Kingdom to move forward, particularly on the delicate points (citizens’ rights, borders, financial settlement). Only when sufficient progress has been made on these priority issues will it be possible to begin the second phase of negotiations.

Our 27 countries agreed on simple principles to safeguard European interests and unity, including holding distinct phases of negotiation. We have a single negotiator who reports on technical points weekly to the Council and very regularly to ministers and heads of state and government.

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