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Official speeches and statements - March 7, 2019

Published on March 7, 2019

1. United Kingdom - Visit by Ms. Nathalie Loiseau - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - March 6, 2019)

European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau will be in London on March 7 to address members of the French community in the United Kingdom, one of the largest in the world (147,000 enrolled in the registry of French nationals residing outside France). The Minister will specifically reaffirm her commitment to preserving the rights of European nationals living in the UK after Brexit.

During her visit, Ms. Loiseau will meet Stephen Barclay, the British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. They will discuss the status of talks on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Ms. Loiseau will reiterate on this occasion that while there is no question of reopening the withdrawal agreement, France and the EU may discuss clarifications to be made, notably in the political statement on future relations between the EU and the UK. Furthermore, if the UK should request an extension in the negotiating period, we could only accept it if there is a clear and credible vision going forward.

The Minister will also meet Keir Starmer, a Labour MP and Shadow Brexit Secretary, and Conservative MP Dominic Grieve. They will discuss British parliamentary deadlines.

During this trip, Ms. Loiseau will open the Franco-British Summit of Mayors with Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. This event, the principle of which was agreed upon in January 2018 at the bilateral Sandhurst summit, is designed to allow mayors and local elected officials to develop new partnerships to respond together to the very similar challenges we are facing on both sides of the Channel.

Finally, Ms. Loiseau will deliver a speech on Brexit, the future of the EU, and bilateral relations at the London School of Economics, one Britain’s major universities. (...)

2. United Nations / Syria - Remarks to the press by the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Remarks in national capacity (New York - March 6, 2019)

Just a few words in my national capacity before the consultations that we are about to have on the chemical dossier in Syria. Maybe one or two very brief remarks about it:

The first is to underscore the importance of these consultations and the first message I will pass on to my colleagues at the beginning of the meeting is that it’s not about scoring political points here, it’s not about playing tactical games, today is really about fighting together against the risk of use and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And this is at the very core of our responsibilities at the Security Council. I think it is very important to say it time and again, even publicly today, to make sure that the members of the Security Council, beyond their differences that we all know about, are ready to assume what is at the heart of their responsibilities.

Number two, on the substance of things, as you all know it is not an easy issue, but we really hope for substantive and interactive exchanges following the presentation by Izumi Nakamitsu. Establishing the circumstances and the responsibilities of the use of chemical weapons is absolutely imperative to fight impunity. This is the case in Douma in particular, after the release of the OPCW report. Perpetrators of such horrendous actions need to be identified and face the consequences of their actions, and the OPCW investigation and attribution mechanisms, whose work is crucial, need therefore our full and collective support.

This is the strong commitment that I want to reiterate today, again in my national capacity, and that I will of course reiterate in front of my colleagues.

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