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Official speeches and statements - May 24, 2019

Published on May 24, 2019

1. Libya - Meeting between M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr Khalifa Haftar, Supreme Commander of the Libyan National Army - Press communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, 22/05/2019)

The French President hosted a meeting today with Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Supreme Commander of the Libyan National Army.

The purpose of the meeting - which comes one week after the visit to France by Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj - was to facilitate dialogue between the Libyan stakeholders, in the context of the military operations under way on the outskirts of Tripoli.

In this situation, the President asked Marshal Haftar to ensure civilians are protected and work to establish a ceasefire and the resumption of political negotiations.

The President reaffirmed France’s priorities in Libya: to combat terrorist groups, dismantle trafficking rings, in particular those linked to illegal migration, and stabilize Libya in the long term.

On the political process, he reminded Marshal Haftar of the commitments made at previous international meetings, particularly in France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates, in their three dimensions: establishing transitional governance, unifying Libya’s institutions and preparing the elections demanded by the Libyan people. He encouraged him to ensure they are implemented.

The President expressed his support for the United Nations and his wish for close coordination with the European, African and international partners./.

2. International trade - Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the World Trade Organization - Statement by the ministry for Europe and foreign affairs spokeswoman (Paris, 23/05/2019)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian met in Paris with Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), on May 23.

The minister reaffirmed France’s commitment to an open, multilateral, rules-based trading system, whose rules are guaranteed by the WTO. He reiterated France’s full support for the work undertaken by the EU to modernize the organization in order to:

  • strengthen the rules to better combat unfair trading practices and ensure the conditions for fair competition at the global level
  • improve the transparency and functioning of the WTO as a negotiating forum
  • preserve an effective dispute-resolution mechanism within the organization.

Following the ministerial council meeting of the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) on May 22-23 devoted to the opportunities and challenges of the digital transition in the service of sustainable development, the minister also lent the WTO director-general his support for current WTO negotiations on e-commerce, negotiations that are vital to meeting the challenges of the digital economy./.