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Official speeches and statements - August 3, 2018

Published on August 13, 2018

1. Israel - Palestinian Territories - Gaza blockade - Reply by Mme Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly (Paris, 01/08/2018)

You refer to what has just happened in the Gaza Strip. It’s true that good news rarely emerges from Gaza, but recently the situation has become especially worrying. There are two elements to what you said. The first is a situation concerning a boat and one of our compatriots; the second is the general situation in Gaza.

It’s not the first time a flotilla has travelled towards Gaza to both protest against the blockade and provide humanitarian assistance, and it’s not the first time the boats from such a flotilla have been boarded by the Israeli navy. That’s what happened on Sunday: all the passengers of the Al-Awda were arrested, including one of our compatriots, Sarah Katz.

That’s obviously our primary concern. The consulate visited her yesterday, we’re checking that international law is indeed being applied to her and, of course, we’re providing all the consular protection she has the right to. Meanwhile, the humanitarian cargo the boat contained is heading to Gaza.

More broadly, the situation in Gaza is especially worrying. Of course there’s a humanitarian crisis, but without a political crisis there would be no humanitarian crisis, and this political crisis is due to the lack of peace prospects for the Palestinian Territories.

Our position is clear and well-known, but I’m repeating it even more clearly today because you’ve asked me to. We’d like the blockade of Gaza to be lifted, taking into account the security guarantees necessary for the Israeli state. We’d like the negotiations to resume, quite obviously, and a solution to prevail with two states living side by side within secure borders, in peace and security, with Jerusalem as their capital. We’re working on that; Jean-Yves Le Drian is in Jordan today, particularly [to talk] about it./.


2. United Kingdom - Meeting between Mme Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, and Mr Dominic Raab, British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson (Paris, 03/08/2018)

On 2 August, Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, hosted a meeting with Dominic Raab, the British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

The two ministers welcomed the fluidity and intensity of Franco-British discussions, in particular this week (with Jeremy Hunt’s visit on 31 July and Theresa May’s on 3 August).

The Minister for European Affairs reaffirmed France’s full support for M. Barnier and the outstanding work he is doing in accordance with the mandate which the 27 European Union member states gave him. The Minister stressed the importance of finalizing the withdrawal agreement - on which a great deal of work has been done - as swiftly as possible by implementing the joint commitments made in December, particularly regarding the Irish border.

The Minister expressed the 27’s interest in examining the British White Paper on the future relationship, especially as we would also like a special partnership with the UK, both at economic level and in terms of security. This future partnership will have to respect the integrity of the single market and the conditions for fair competition between British businesses and those of the 27.

Finally, the Minister emphasized the importance we attach to the situation of our compatriots living in the UK./.


3. Holy See - Call for the abolition of the death penalty - Statements by the ministry for Europe and foreign affairs deputy spokesman (Paris, 03/08/2018)

France welcomes the strong opposition to the death penalty expressed by the Holy See, which considers it an "inhuman measure that constitutes an attack on the dignity of humanity."

We welcome the expressed desire that the church "would work with determination to abolish capital punishment worldwide."

France is resolutely and constantly committed to the universal abolition of this unjust, inhumane and ineffective punishment. It calls on all states that continue to impose the death penalty to establish a moratorium with a view toward its definitive abolition./.


4. Pakistan - General election - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson (Paris, 01/08/2018)

France applauds the mobilization of the Pakistani people who went to the polls to exercise their voting rights despite calls from extremists and incidents that occurred during the electoral process, which will be detailed in the final report by the EU election observation mission.

We strongly condemn the violence that cast a shadow over the electoral process, especially the attacks in Mastung and Quetta, and offer our condolences to the victims’ families.

France congratulates the country’s future leaders and stands ready to begin a constructive relationship with the governing team chosen by Parliament.

For the first time in Pakistan’s history, this election marks the second consecutive transfer of power between two democratically elected governments. It represents a new stage in the consolidation of Pakistani democracy. France will stand by Pakistan as it continues this process and in support of the country’s economic and social development. (...)./.

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