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Official speeches and statements - July 18, 2018

Published on July 18, 2018

1. Foreign policy - NATO - United States - Iran - Reply by Ms. Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly (Paris - July 17, 2018)

The transatlantic relationship is indeed going through a period of unusual tension. It’s actually very unusual for an American president to describe the European Union as a foe of the United States. Unusual and inaccurate, because it was the Europeans who sprang to America’s assistance after September 11, invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

It’s also very unusual for an American president to attack Germany or interfere in the United Kingdom’s domestic politics; it’s unusual and it’s unfriendly. It’s unusual, too, for Washington to take trade measures on the basis of a national security motive that looks more like a pretext.

So what should we do in the face of this situation? It seems to me that we should both keep our nerve and stay on course. Keeping our nerve means distinguishing between quite peculiar-style remarks and reality. The reality of the NATO summit is that it ended with a declaration signed by all and that the Atlantic Alliance is more solid than ever, for one simple reason: that it benefits each of its members. Keeping our nerve means responding to the American trade measures in a united and proportionate way and not falling into the trap of a trade war in which there would be only losers. Staying on course means maintaining the Iran nuclear agreement with our European partners, but above all staying on course means building, on new foundations, a powerful Europe in control of its destiny and true to its alliances.

Thank you.

2. ICC - 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - July 17, 2018)

On July 17, 1998, the statute of the first permanent International Criminal Court was adopted in Rome by 120 countries so that those responsible for the most serious crimes could be brought to justice. The creation of a criminal court with universal jurisdiction represented an important step in the fight against impunity.

Indeed, the International Criminal Court is mandated to bring to justice people responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity when states are unable or unwilling to do so. States maintain primary responsibility for trying the perpetrators of such crimes. Cases may be referred to the ICC by a state, a public prosecutor, or by the UN Security Council.

France, which played a major role in negotiating the Rome Statute, signed it on the very day it was adopted.

We are committed to the balances guaranteed by the Statute between legal traditions, between court languages, between the role of states and the court’s independence, and between the powers of the prosecutor and the rights of the defense.

Today, July 17, 2018, also marks the start of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, under amendments adopted in 2010 and a decision by the Assembly of States Parties adopted in 2017. The latter confirmed that, consistent with the Statute, the Court cannot exercise its jurisdiction should a case be referred to it by a state party or on its own initiative, when the acts in question have been committed by a national of a state party that has not ratified these amendments, or on the territory of that state. These amendments have not been ratified by a very large majority of states parties, including France, which does not accept this jurisdiction. Indeed, it could lead to contradictory decisions by the Court and the Security Council on the existence of an act of aggression.

France supports the Court’s operations, both through its budgetary contribution and its cooperation with the Court. It encourages the Court’s bodies to continue their efforts to ensure that it carries out its mission effectively. It calls on all nations that have not yet done so to ratify the Rome Statute.

3. Iran - JCPOA - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - July 17, 2018)


Q. - To save the Iran nuclear deal, are you considering the possibility of opening accounts for the Central Bank of Iran at the Bank of France (and other central European banks)?

THE SPOKESPERSON - The JCPOA remains in place. We’re committed to its implementation, in all its aspects, by all parties to the Vienna Agreement. We and our partners are looking at how Iran could continue enjoying as far as possible the economic benefits attached to the implementation of the agreement, provided it continues to comply with the agreement in full.

4. Central African Republic - Security Council Presidential Statement - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - July 17, 2018)


France welcomes the adoption by the UN Security Council of a presidential statement on the situation in the Central African Republic.

The Security Council thereby reaffirms its support for President Touadéra, for his efforts to restore peace and stability in the CAR, and calls on the Central African authorities to immediately take all necessary measures to make progress on the dialogue with the armed groups and with respect to the promotion of national reconciliation, the re-establishment of the rule of law, the reform of the security sector and the fight against impunity.

The Security Council also reaffirms its deep concern in the face of the continued violence and the destabilizing activities of the armed groups and calls on the latter to immediately and unconditionally lay down their weapons and commit themselves to the peace process.

The Security Council reaffirms its support for the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR and its roadmap adopted in Libreville in July 2017, underscoring the urgent need for progress in establishing an ambitious and inclusive dialogue with the armed groups and the various segments of society in the CAR. The Security Council emphasizes the importance of the role played by the African Union and the countries and organizations of the region in this respect and calls on them, as well as the authorities of the Central African Republic, to continue and strengthen their efforts to implement the Libreville Roadmap.

The Security Council reaffirms its full support for MINUSCA, which plays a key role in the efforts to stabilize the country, while paying a heavy toll.

Lastly, the Security Council reaffirms its appreciation for the work of the EU military training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) and calls for good cooperation between the Central African authorities and their international partners in order to ensure the gradual and lasting redeployment of the defense and internal security forces.


5. South Africa - Centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - July 18, 2018)


On this anniversary day, France pays tribute to the memory of Nelson Mandela, "Madiba", hero of the fight against apartheid in South Africa, who passed away on December 5, 2013.

His courage and commitment to freedom and against racism continue to inspire whole generations. In this regard, we applaud the determination of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to continue Nelson Mandela’s work to meet his country’s social and political challenges.

Today France wants to send a message of friendship to the authorities and people of South Africa. Nicolas Hulot, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, is representing the French government today at the ceremonies being held in Pretoria.

6. United Nations - Meeting between the Minister and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson (Paris - July 13, 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian met UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on July 13.

The meeting took place in a context in which the UNHCR and the international community are facing increased challenges, with an unprecedented level of forced displacements of people around the world (68.5 million displaced persons compared with 38 million 10 years ago).

President Macron has just reiterated our commitment to the right to asylum, our desire to have a solidarity-based European policy and our call for the operational implementation of the conclusions of the most recent European Council. In this respect, Jean-Yves Le Drian emphasized the importance of respect for the principles of humanity, the application of the rules of international law, and pragmatism.

The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs reaffirmed that the UNHCR is a key partner of France and the largest international institution benefiting from French humanitarian assistance (€34.8 million in 2017; €32.8 million in 2018). He indicated that France’s commitment to the protection of refugees would also continue through the resettlement of refugees in France, in accordance with President Macron’s commitments as well as through our efforts to obtain UN sanctions against the traffickers of migrants and people smugglers, to break up the networks and to address serious human rights violations. Jean-Yves Le Drian emphasized in particular the importance France attaches to cooperation in certain Sahel countries with the UNHCR, as well as with the International Organization for Migration, in order to alleviate the suffering of migrants and refugees.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss the forthcoming international meetings in this area as well as to finalize the compact on refugees drawn up on the initiative of the Office of the High Commissioner. The Minister commended the consultation process led by the UNHCR to achieve this outcome and make it possible to renew the international community’s response in support of the refugees and host countries.

Lastly, Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed that France will continue to give special attention to the work of the UNHCR and to all initiatives that can be taken to help refugees fleeing armed conflict, notably in Syria and Libya. It will continue to work on finding solutions to the crises, a tragic consequence of which is the displacement of civilians.


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