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Official speeches and statements - July 24, 2018

Published on July 26, 2018

1. Libya - Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, 23/07/2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in Tripoli, Misurata, Tobruk, and Rajma on 23 July. This visit follows the international conference on Libya hosted by the French President on 29 May and under the authority of the UN, represented by Ghassan Salame, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative for Libya.

The day before, he was in Tunisia, where he discussed Libya with President Beji Caid Essebsi, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, and his counterpart, Khemaies Jhinaoui.

In connection with the implementation of the political declaration endorsed on 29 May in Paris, M. Le Drian will have meetings with Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, President of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh Issa, President of the High Council of State Khaled Mechri, and the commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, about the commitments they agreed to on that occasion. These commitments include three key principles and two decisive deadlines for Libya’s future: the adoption of a constitutional platform before 16 September, the holding of general and presidential elections on 10 December, and the unification of economic and security institutions under civilian authority.

M. Le Drian will also pay a visit to the city council and elected officials of Misurata, where he will reiterate France’s commitment to an inclusive political solution for resuming the democratic transition.

Migration issues will also be central to the discussion with Prime Minister Sarraj. In accordance with the road map on migration that came out of the Paris summit of 28 August 2017 and the Abidjan summit of 29 November 2017, and along with the efforts of the migration working group, M. Le Drian will reiterate France’s commitments and urge the Libyan authorities to continue to abide by theirs.

Finally, M. Le Drian will announce the continuation of France’s work to support Libya’s stabilization, especially in the priority areas of mine clearance and health. He will advocate increased support for Libya’s High National Elections Commission, and will announce an increase in France’s financial contribution to it for the organization of Libyan elections.

France reiterates its full support for Ghassan Salame’s action plan. It calls on all the Libyan parties to consistently engage in this dialogue. (...)./.

2. Health - International AIDS Conference - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, 23/07/2018)


The 22nd International AIDS Conference is being held in Amsterdam from 23 to 27 July 2018. More than 15,000 scientists, members of civil society and representatives of state representatives from around the world are attending this major biennial meeting to discuss the advances and major challenges remaining in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The conference must highlight the importance of maintaining a high level of prevention and of combating discrimination, which stands in the way of an effective fight. It will also stress the need to increase international funding.

France is represented by a large delegation led by Minister for Solidarity and Health Agnès Buzyn, and which also includes Ambassador for Global Health Stéphanie Seydoux. With the support of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Solidarity and Health, and several local governments and agencies, it has a booth enabling French actors to promote our country’s expertise and major commitment. Representatives of the French research community - the second-largest internationally in terms of scientific research on HIV/AIDS - will present their work, which has made it possible each year to discover new molecules or new administration methods to make life easier for patients. Finally, many French representatives of voluntary organizations and operators will present the results of community programmes they are conducting involving patient assistance, prevention, and strengthening the capacity of local health systems.

Having contributed euro4.2 billion since 2002, France is the second-largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which gives 11 million people access to HIV/AIDS treatment worldwide. It is the largest contributor to Unitaid, an agency that accelerates the availability of the most effective, least expensive innovations to better treat, diagnose and prevent these diseases.

During the conference, France will urge the international community to mobilize to ensure the success of the Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which will be held in France at President Macron’s invitation in 2019. It will represent a key step forward in the international goal to eliminate AIDS by 2030. (...)./.

3. Syria - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, 23/07/2018)


Has the aid sent to Eastern Ghouta been distributed yet?

THE SPOKESPERSON - Following the 24 May coordination meeting in St Petersburg between the French and Russian Presidents, France and Russia carried out a joint humanitarian project in Syria to meet the needs of the civilian population, which remain very significant in Eastern Ghouta (Douma).

More than 50 tonnes of French humanitarian aid were shipped to Syria on board a Russian plane during the night of 20 to 21 July. The humanitarian cargo provided by France consists of medical equipment and basic necessities. On Saturday it was delivered to the UN, which will supervise its distribution. The aid will be transported to Eastern Ghouta and distributed there in accordance with international humanitarian law, as swiftly as possible.

Under UN Security Council Resolution 2401 (2018), the goal of this project is to give civilians better access to aid. Humanitarian assistance is an absolute priority; it must be provided according to the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence - throughout Syria, without exception, where international humanitarian law must be fully respected.

Apart from supporting and protecting White Helmets and their families, is France prepared to welcome these people, as Britain, Canada and Germany have already said they would?

THE SPOKESPERSON - France is an active member of the operation that allowed the White Helmets and their families to leave Syria, where their security was seriously compromised.

This operation provides for their resettlement in third countries. France will do its part to welcome White Helmets and their families.

It will continue to work on behalf of these courageous individuals who risked their lives day after day to help the Syrian people./.

4. Sustainable development - Meeting between the French and British transport ministers - Press communiqué issued by the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition (Paris, 20/07/2018)

French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne and British Minister of State for Transport Jo Johnson had a meeting in Paris on Thursday 19 July 2018. This cordial and productive exchange of ideas was aimed at implementing the Sandhurst Franco-British summit declaration of January this year.

The ministers shared their experience of several transport-related issues, drawing on the long-term relationship existing between the two countries. Elisabeth Borne presented projects relating to the modernization of transport infrastructure in Paris and [the rest of] France. Jo Johnson shared Britain’s experience of managing the London 2012 Olympic Games and stressed the importance of developing transport networks, with France itself preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The ministers reiterated their shared commitment to implementing sustainable mobility geared towards decarbonization, which was endorsed by the January summit in Sandhurst, where the two countries agreed to work together on developing zero-emissions vehicles.

The ministers agreed to continue this constructive dialogue, with a view to maintaining the close partnership existing between France and the United Kingdom./.