Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - November 16, 2018)
• Democratic Republic of Congo – Death of eight MONUSCO peacekeepers (November 15, 2018)
• Armenia – Azerbaijan
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves le Drian will attend the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on November 19. The ministers will discuss the following subjects:
- Central Asia: The ministers will make preparations for the ministerial EU-Central Asia meeting on November 23 in Brussels, which will be devoted to environmental, economic and security issues. They will discuss the EU’s future Central Asia strategy, which should be published during the first half of 2019, and which we and Germany hope will focus on themes of sustainable development and security/stability.
- Bosnia-Herzegovina: Following the legislative and presidential elections on October 7, the ministers will encourage political leaders to form new governments as swiftly as possible at the various levels in order to resume the necessary reforms of the country’s economic and social development and the rule of law; these are vital to its rapprochement with the EU.
- Ukraine: The ministers will exchange views on the situation in Ukraine, the security situation of territories under separatist control, and tensions in the Azov Sea, as well as the European response to the illegal local elections held in the Donbass region on November 11. The French and German foreign ministers will inform their partners of the status of the negotiations in the Normandy format (comprising Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine) and will underscore the need for Ukraine to accelerate the implementation of the reforms expected by the EU.
- Yemen: The ministers will reaffirm the EU’s support for a political solution, the only way to resolve the conflict, and for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s special envoy, Martin Griffiths, who is to present a "framework for global action" to the Security Council in New York today. They will stress the EU’s commitment to addressing the alarming deterioration in the humanitarian situation.
- Iran: With regard to the second round of U.S. sanctions against Iran affecting the oil, financial, transportation and insurance sectors, reinstituted on November 5, Mr. Le Drian will reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the JCPoA, in respect of international agreements and international security. He will reaffirm France’s commitment to preserving and maintaining operational financial channels with Iran so that it may continue to enjoy the economic benefits of the agreement and continue to fully abide by it.
- Security and defense: This point will be dealt with in a joint format by foreign and defense ministers. Discussions will cover the progress made by the European defense system in recent months: the expansion of the EU’s strategic autonomy, the adoption of new projects within the framework of permanent structured cooperation, a coordinated annual review on defense, the fight against hybrid threats, partnership reform, security and civil defense policy. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to examine new prospects ahead of December’s European Council. Also to be discussed will be the EU’s draft budget, which will include a new security/defense item and an increase in the European Defense Fund.
Finally, the minister will give a speech presenting the results of the first Paris Peace Forum and will thank the member states and EU institutions for their support for the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.
France pays tribute to the courage and self-sacrifice of the seven Malawian soldiers and one Tanzanian soldier who died in combat during an operation led by MONUSCO. France also pays tribute to the sacrifice of the soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s armed forces, who died alongside them.
We extend our condolences to the victims’ families as well as to authorities of Malawi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
France salutes MONUSCO’s commitment and renews its support for the UN.
France remains committed, alongside the Congolese, Malawian and Tanzanian authorities and its African partners, to contributing to the stabilization of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the fight against armed groups.
Does France have any response following the arrest this morning of individuals with ties to the Anadolu Kultur Association?
We were deeply concerned at the arrest this morning in Turkey of several figures associated with the Anadolu Kultur Association set up by Osman Kavala, a civil society leader and campaigner for cultural dialogue.
While Mr. Kavala has been in detention for more than a year without as yet being indicted, France calls for respect for the right of everyone to a fair trial and for respect for the freedom of expression.
Azerbaijan is protesting against the visit by the leader of Nagorno-Karabakh to France. What is your response?
France does not recognize the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It does not maintain any relations with those who claim to be its representatives. As co-chair of the Minsk Group, France is working to ensure that a peaceful and lasting solution can be found and is conducting its mediation efforts in strict compliance with its duty of impartiality.