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Official speeches and statements - October 21, 2020

Published on October 22, 2020

1. Libya - Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to a written question in the National Assembly (Paris, 20/10/2020)
Through its steadfast support for the United Nations’ mediation in Libya, France is working with all Libyans to promote a stable, unified and prosperous future for their country.

France is sparing no effort to make a comprehensive political settlement to the Libya crisis possible. In this spirit, all the leading players in the Libya issue have been hosted several times in Paris. We have reiterated the need to work for a swift cessation of hostilities in the framework of the Libyan (5+5) Joint Military Commission’s negotiations, revitalize the political process and end all foreign interference in Libya. These concrete efforts to find a solution to the crisis are part of the framework agreed on at the Berlin conference of 19 January 2020, under the auspices of the United Nations. On that occasion, all the participants pledged not to intervene in the Libya conflict.

In Libya, France is not choosing one side against the other. It worked with players from both the west and the east when it came to fighting Daesh [so-called ISIS], and it is now talking to everyone to achieve a political solution.

France has also been working actively to strengthen European unity on the Libya issue, particularly by taking the initiative of [holding] very regular talks between the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, his German and Italian counterparts and the European Union’s High Representative, Mr Josep Borrell. As France has always recalled, only an inclusive political process led by the Libyans themselves under the auspices of the United Nations can end the conflict and bring about lasting peace. In this regard, we would like a new special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to be appointed quickly./.

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2. Brexit - Situation of British nationals owning second homes - Reply by the Office of the Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a written question in the National Assembly (Paris, 20/10/2020)

The withdrawal agreement protects EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and UK nationals living in one of the 27 EU member States at the end of the transition period. Among other things, it provides for rights linked to residence, based on conditions identical to those set out in the directive on free movement in the EU (Directive 2004/38/EC).

In accordance with the withdrawal agreement, France pledged to protect the rights of British nationals currently living on its territory or wishing to settle here before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). Depending on their situation, these nationals will obtain either a permanent residence permit (if they settled in France before 31 December 2020 and have proof of having lived lawfully on French territory for five years) or a document valid for one to five years (if they settled in France before 31 December 2020 and have been on French territory for under five years). Members of their family will also be able to have access to a residence permit. The situation of British nationals wishing to pay short visits to France following the transition period, for example to travel to their second home if they live mainly in the UK, does not fall under the withdrawal agreement but under the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which is currently being negotiated.

If no agreement comes into force following the transition period, their situation will be covered by a regulation adopted at European Union level which stipulates that British travellers will be exempted from short-stay visas (under three months), provided the UK reciprocally grants all EU citizens exemptions from short-stay visas. For visits longer than three months, British citizens will, however, have to possess long-stay visas./.

3. European Union - EU renews its sanctions regime against ISIL/Daesh and al-Qaida until 31 October 2021 (Luxembourg, 20/10/2020)

The Council today renewed the EU sanctions regime against ISIL/Da’esh and Al-Qaida and the related list of people subject to restrictive measures for another year until 31 October 2021. The decision was taken in light of the ongoing terrorist threat.

EU sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for individuals, and an asset freeze for groups and entities. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds and economic resources available to those listed.

Five individuals are currently subject to restrictive measures.

The EU has been able to autonomously adopt restrictive measures against ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda, and persons, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them, since September 2016. The EU regime is independent from, but complementary to, the regime allowing for sanctions to be adopted at the UN level.

The relevant legal act will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 20 October 2020./.