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Official speeches and statements - July 27, 2018

Published on July 31, 2018

1. Syria - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, 27/07/2018)

What is the status of France’s aid shipment? Do you consider it a success? Will French-Russian cooperation have an effect on political aspects, particularly the rebuilding of Syria?

THE SPOKESPERSON - Our cooperation with Russia has helped French aid shipments to be delivered swiftly and in secure conditions. All non-perishable goods included in the humanitarian operation have been distributed to the population of Eastern Ghouta. Perishable goods, essentially medicines, are being stored in adequate conditions that will allow them to be used as needed. The operation was coordinated by the UN, which ensured that it proceeded smoothly on the ground. We offer them our gratitude for their commitment and effectiveness.

We reaffirm that the operation was conducted for the sole purpose of providing necessary emergency aid to the residents of Eastern Ghouta. It was one of many initiatives we are taking to assist the most vulnerable people in Syria, wherever they may be.

We hope to work with Russia to bring the viewpoints of countries with influence in Syria closer together, thereby creating the conditions for an inclusive, sustainable political solution. In order to succeed, it remains necessary to fully abide by the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 2401. Only a political solution to the Syrian crisis will make it possible to end the violence against civilians, re-establish a civil peace and begin rebuilding the country. Our position on this subject remains unchanged. (...)./.

2. Syria - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, 26/07/2018)

Do you have any comment on the attacks by Daesh [so-called ISIL] in Sweida province, populated notably by Druze?

THE SPOKESPERSON - The series of terrorist attacks carried out by Daesh A - yesterday in Sweida province prove that this terrorist organization remains determined to strike civilian populations and to eliminate the religious diversity of Middle-Eastern societies.

We condemn these attacks, which took the lives of nearly 250 people, the majority of them civilians.

We reaffirm the need to successfully complete the fight against Daesh.

We express our concern over the military operations in southern Syria, and especially the number of civilian casualties and displaced persons they cause.

France is continuing its efforts to provide the necessary aid to the most vulnerable people. It will continue taking all useful initiatives to bring about a political solution to the Syrian conflict./.

3. International trade - Discussions between the EU and the US - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, 26/07/2018)

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström went to Washington yesterday to meet President Trump.

In their discussions, they reaffirmed the importance of a strong transatlantic relationship for the European Union, for the United States and for global trade.

This meeting made it possible, first of all, to avoid a trade war. Indeed, it was agreed to establish a joint working group to allow the EU and the US to work together to strengthen their trade relations. Obviously, that means not considering unilateral measures that would counter this objective. A commitment was also made to reassess the measures adopted by the United States on steel and aluminum and European counter-measures. We support the scaling down of tensions made possible by the determination and unity shown by the EU in recent weeks.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to share a clear observation, i.e. that it is in our common interest to work towards reforming the WTO so that it may promote open, fair, rules-based global trade.

We will ensure that these discussions are fully in line with the progressive European trade policy that we support and that they respect our strict environmental and health standards. We will also ensure that agricultural issues remain outside the field of these discussions, as the Commission pledged. Indeed, in no case are we undertaking the negotiation of a comprehensive trade agreement. It is on this basis that we will continue discussions with the Commission and our European partners. The EU’s unity will be a crucial factor in the months to come.

The Minister and Minister of State, who represent France at the Council of European Trade Ministers, will act accordingly. (...)./.