Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - June 28, 2017)
• Cyprus – Resumption of the negotiation process (Geneva - June 28, 2017)
• Situation in the Gulf
Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, received Sandro Gozi, Italy’s Under-Secretary for European Affairs, for a working meeting this morning.
The two ministers focused on strengthening our cooperation on major European issues, as agreed by President Macron and the Italian prime minister on May 21.
In the wake of the European Council on June 22 and 23, they notably took stock of European defense, European trade policy and migration. They also discussed preparations for the upcoming bilateral and regional meetings, including the Western Balkans Summit in Trieste on July 12.
The inter-Cypriot negotiations on reunification resume today.
France supports the efforts of the leaders of both communities to find a lasting and satisfactory solution that will ensure the security of Cyprus and both parties, in accordance with the parameters set by the UN and with due regard for the acquis communautaire.
It reaffirms its support for the mediation conducted under UN auspices and urges all actors to work toward ensuring the success of the process. Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed this issue with his Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides, whom he received on June 26.
The situation is continuing to deteriorate in Venezuela. Do you think that the matter should be referred to the Security Council?
Given the situation in Venezuela which is continuing to deteriorate, France calls for an immediate end to the violence.
The situation is already being monitored by the UN Human Rights Council.
Together with our European partners, we are continuing to give priority to efforts to immediately establish a credible and constructive mediation process, in which the government and opposition have confidence.
It’s been a month since France imposed its "red line" regarding the humanitarian situation in Syria. What have you got from the Russians in terms of tangible results regarding this issue?
Full and unimpeded humanitarian access is an obligation under international law. It is a priority for France in Syria, as reaffirmed by President Macron.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, travelled to Moscow on June 20 and discussed this issue at length with his Russian counterpart.
We want Russia to effectively contribute to the safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to all populations in need in Syria.
Do you believe that the Syrian High Negotiations Committee is sufficiently representative of the opposition to negotiate with Bashar al-Assad’s representatives?
The Geneva Communiqué and UNSCR 2254 provide the framework for the inter-Syrian talks. These texts clearly define the parties to the negotiations: the representatives of the opposition and the regime.
President Macron received Riad Hijab, head of the High Negotiations Committee, on May 30, and reiterated his support for him.
Your responses on June 26 to the question of whether the loyalist Syrian forces and the Shiite militia are critical to the fight against terrorism did not clarify your position. Are these groups allies in the fight against terrorism?
We are working with our allies within the international coalition against Daesh.
The loyalist Syrian forces and the militia associated with them are not part of this group.
Your calls for efforts to ease the situation seem to have been ignored. Saudi Arabia stated yesterday that negotiations with Qatar would not take place until it accepted its neighbors’ demands and the UAE suggested this morning that they could even ask their trade partners to choose between them and Doha. What’s your response?
The Gulf States must make the necessary gestures in order to help ease the situation and engage in dialogue to settle the disputes. In this respect, we support Kuwait’s efforts.
Jean-Yves Le Drian is continuing to engage in consultations with his interlocutors from the Gulf States. He will receive Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and emissary of the emir for mediation, on June 29.
Do you intend to meet with the special envoy for Yemen this week in Paris and how can France play an independent role in this conflict given its strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia?
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen, will be received at the Quai d’Orsay during his visit to Paris.
We are lending him our full support and remain committed, together with our partners, especially at the UN Security Council, to contributing to an agreement on a political solution in Yemen, the only way to restore stability in the country and to counter the terrorist threat over the long term.
To that end, France reiterates its call for an immediate ceasefire, for urgent efforts to respond to the humanitarian crisis and for the unconditional resumption of negotiations aimed at achieving a political solution.
What are you expecting from the visit by Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif; what are the key issues that will be discussed?
Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Iranian counterpart will discuss the implementation of the nuclear deal reached in Vienna, which France is closely monitoring.
Within the framework of our bilateral agreement on political dialogue, they will also take stock of the regional situation, notably with respect to the crises in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
Lastly, the two ministers will discuss our bilateral relations, based on the road map adopted during President Rohani’s visit to Paris on January 28, 2016.