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Official speeches and statements - May 23, 2019

Published on May 23, 2019

1. Libya - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, 23/05/2019)

Has there been any progress following yesterday’s meeting between President Macron and Field Marshal Haftar?

THE SPOKESPERSON - In light of the ongoing clashes in Tripoli, France is speaking resolutely to all the Libyan stakeholders, urging them to accept a ceasefire and resume political negotiations. It was in this spirit that President Macron hosted Field Marshal Haftar yesterday after a meeting with Prime Minister Sarraj on 8 May.

We asked Field Marshal Haftar to ensure the protection of civilians and to work towards the establishment of a ceasefire and the resumption of political negotiations. We reaffirmed our priorities: combating terrorist groups; dismantling networks of traffickers, especially those linked to clandestine migration; and bringing about long-term stability in Libya.

The Libyan stakeholders repeatedly agreed that the solution could only be political. That is why France will continue working with its partners, especially the Europeans, to ensure that the Libyan stakeholders implement the commitments made at various international meetings in France, Italy and, more recently, the United Arab Emirates./.

2. Syria/chemical weapons - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Excerpt) (Paris, 22/05/2019)

The United States stated on Tuesday that there were "indications" that Bashar al-Assad’s regime had reportedly carried out a new chemical "attack" on 19 May, in north-western Syria this time. Do you have any information about this?

A - We have noted with concern these allegations, which must be investigated.

We have every confidence in the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

President Macron reaffirmed yesterday, together with the German Chancellor, that we remain extremely vigilant with respect to the use of chemical weapons. France reaffirms its constant position against the use of chemical weapons and in support of ensuring that the perpetrators of chemical attacks are punished. It was with this in mind that France launched the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons on 23 January 2018./.

3. France/Yazidi refugees - France takes in 28 Yazidi families who have been victims of Daesh - Communiqué issued by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior (Paris, 22/05/2019)

Today, Wednesday 22 May 2019, France is taking in 28 Yazidi women who have been victims of Daesh [so-called ISIL], accompanied by their children. A flight from Erbil, arranged by the International Organization for Migration and paid for by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will land at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport late today.

This new group is being received following a first operation, which the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs coordinated in conjunction with the services of the Ministry of the Interior, enabling 16 families to be taken in on 19 December 2018. It fulfils the commitment the President made to Ms Nadia Murad, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2018, for France to take in 100 Yazidi families who have been victims of crimes committed by Daesh.

Various French departments are receiving these women, who particularly suffered from the terrorist organization’s atrocities. With the support of various state services, France is ensuring their protection, safety, education and medico-social support.

This initiative is consistent with France’s renewed desire to put in place, in conjunction with the Iraqi authorities, facilities for receiving victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East. At the same time, France is taking action with these people in Iraq to restore favourable living conditions there and help rebuild the territories liberated from the grip of Daesh./.