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Official speeches and statements - December 17, 2019

Published on December 17, 2019

1. Ukraine - Extension of the law offering special status - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - December 13, 2019)

France welcomes the extension by Ukraine’s parliament of the law on the special status of local self-governance in certain areas of the Donbass region (law offering special status) until 31 December 2020. Through this initial positive decision, Ukraine signals its determination to implement the commitments made during the summit of heads of state and government in the Normandy format in Paris on December 9.

France encourages the parties to implement all of the commitments undertaken on this occasion in order to make progress toward finding a negotiated solution to the conflict that has been plaguing eastern Ukraine for more than five years now.

2. Strait of Hormuz - Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to a written question in the Senate (Paris - December 12, 2019)

The Strait of Hormuz is extremely strategic, both for the security of the Middle East and for the stability of international trade. In that region, as everywhere else, maritime law and freedom of movement must be respected.

France, which has a special responsibility due to its status as a permanent member of the Security Council, is therefore working towards de-escalation, through several initiatives. Firstly, France is promoting action that focuses on maritime security in the Gulf. At operational level, France is working on the establishment of a European maritime surveillance mission, in order to improve knowledge of the situation and therefore navigation conditions in the area. Its deployment should take shape soon.

Given the violations of safe navigation in the area, which is essential to the global economy, France is also sending firm messages. For example, since May 2019 it has condemned the sabotage targeting some oil tankers in the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. France also firmly condemned the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ seizure of the British ship Stena Impero, and closely followed the circumstances of its release.

On September 23, 2019, in a joint statement with the British Prime Minister and German Chancellor, the French President again called on Iran to refrain from all provocation or escalation. France, the UK and Germany condemned the attacks carried out against Saudi oil facilities on September 14, 2019 and said Iran bore responsibility for them.

France is committed at the highest level to finding the conditions for a de-escalation of tension in the region. Among other things, the President is in very regular contact with his American and Iranian counterparts to encourage the resumption of negotiations that will have to focus on every point of concern.

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