Quai d’Orsay - Excerpts from the daily press briefing - 12 May 2016 [fr]
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Romain Nadal, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international Development spokesman (Paris, May 12, 2016)
International organizations – Migration – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and William Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (Paris, May 12)
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will meet this afternoon with William Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). They will discuss the flow of refugees and migrants into Europe and the situation in Africa, as well as population displacement due to climate disruption.
France supports the IOM’s remarkable work, especially in the Mediterranean region, Africa and the Middle East. We reaffirm our commitment to finding a comprehensive and lasting solution to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, in close cooperation with our European partners.
Armenia - Jean-Marc Ayrault and Harlem Désir’s meeting with Edward Nalbandian, Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs (May 12)
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive his Armenian counterpart, Edward Nalbandian, this afternoon.
The two ministers will underscore the importance of French-Armenian relations and will work on further developing our cooperation in order to give it fresh impetus. They will discuss the efforts of the Minsk Group co-chairs to reach a negotiated, peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Mr. Nalbandian will also meet with Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, notably to take stock of the negotiations underway to conclude a framework agreement between Armenia and the EU.
Iraq – Attacks – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (May 11)
I utterly condemn the appalling attacks that plunged Baghdad into mourning yesterday.
I extend my heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and my deepest sympathy to the Iraqi people in the face - once again - of Daesh’s barbarity.
France will continue to resolutely combat this terrorist group, alongside the Iraqi authorities and its partners in the international coalition.
European Union – Development - André Vallini’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, May 12)
André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will take part in a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on development issues today in Brussels. The work will focus on the following topics:
the participants will discuss the refugee crisis and the assistance that can be provided to them over the long term and as close as possible to their countries of origin;
they will prepare for the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul;
they will review how our shared European vision of development should incorporate the sustainable development goals established in 2015 and the conclusions of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The participants will also work with Eklil Hakimi, Afghanistan’s Minister of Finance, to prepare for the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan due to take place in Brussels at the beginning of October.
Development – Meeting between André Vallini and civil society organizations (Paris, May 11)
André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, visited the premises of Coordination Sud, a French platform that brings together 160 civil society organizations.
He met with the teams of Coordination Sud and those of other NGOs located there, including the Forum des organisations de solidarité internationale issues des migrations (Forum of International Migration Solidarity Organizations) (FORIM), the Centre de recherche et d’information sur le développement (Research and Information Center for Development) (CRID), the Comité de liaison des ONG de volontariat (Liaison Committee for Volunteer-based NGOs) (CLONG Volontariat), Transparency international France, the Platform of NGOs for Palestine, CERISE, Prioriterre and the International Forum of National NGO Platforms.
Mr. Vallini paid tribute to the dedication and commitment of these professionals in promoting development and international solidarity. These groups of NGOs are longstanding partners of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, which meets with them on a regular basis.
This visit also provided an opportunity for Mr. Vallini to work with representatives of associations on preparations for the “Salon des Solidarités” (Paris, May 19 to 21) and International Solidarity Week (November 2016). They notably discussed the major challenges relating to development, citizenship education and international solidarity, as well as humanitarian issues.
Tunisia – Terrorist attack in El Maouna (May 11)
France condemns the terrorist attack perpetrated against members of the National Guard in El Maouna, in southern Tunisia near Tataouine on May 11, 2016, which left four of them dead.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families.
France expresses its wholehearted solidarity with the Tunisian people and reaffirms its full support for the Tunisian authorities in the fight against terrorism.
Democratic Republic of Congo – Political and security situation (May 12)
France is concerned at the deteriorating political and security climate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Priority must be given to the active preparation, in good faith, of the elections, the only source of popular legitimacy. It is up to the Congolese authorities to assume their responsibilities in this respect.
France also calls for respect for the rule of law in order to allow for a calm debate in the run-up to the elections.
The resurgence of violence in the northeastern part of the country, which France utterly condemns, should prompt the country’s security forces - with the support of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo - to focus their efforts on protecting civilian populations, notably the most vulnerable.
Israel – Palestinian Territories
What should we infer from the statements made by Prime Minister Manuel Valls regarding UNESCO’s resolution on Jerusalem indicating that the resolution contains “unfortunate and clumsy wording that causes offence and should, like the vote, unquestionably have been avoided”? Is there a difference of opinion between the prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs who in the press briefing on April 25 still indicated that France should vote in favor of this text?
The prime minister, like the minister, reaffirmed our position on Jerusalem, which is clear.
It does not change and will not change: Jerusalem is a fundamental city for the three major monotheistic religions and belongs to all believers - Jews, Christians and Muslims – whose freedom of access and freedom of worship must be respected there.
Jean-Marc Ayrault traveled to Berlin yesterday to take part in a meeting in the Normandy format. Could you give us some details about this meeting and describe the concrete results?
During the meeting in the Normandy format, which took place yesterday, May 11, in Berlin, the discussions held by the French, German, Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers focused on three aspects of the implementation of the Minsk agreements:
1- With respect to security in eastern Ukraine, the ministers agreed on concrete progress toward consolidating the ceasefire, such as the withdrawal of troops from the “hot spots,” the establishment of demilitarized areas, the withdrawal of weapons, the implementation of mine clearance actions and the establishment of a coordination mechanism between the Joint Center for Control and Coordination, implemented to monitor the ceasefire, and the OSCE.
2- With respect to the local elections in eastern Ukraine, the ministers tasked the coordinator of the political working group, Ambassador Pierre Morel, with continuing discussions based on the draft electoral law presented by Ukraine and the Russian proposals.
3- Lastly, the ministers specified that the parties would continue to examine, over the next few weeks, the options put forward by the OSCE with respect to ensuring the security of the elections.
Following this productive meeting, France and Germany are determined to continue their efforts to ensure that the consolidation of the ceasefire in effect since the Easter truce will allow the forthcoming elections in eastern Ukraine to take place.
Several organizations have reported that Chadian soldiers have gone missing following the presidential elections which resulted in the election of Idriss Déby Itno. What is your response to these disappearances? Do you have any information about these soldiers given that French officials met with the Chadian authorities following these accusations?
France, like its partners in the international community, is concerned at reports by human rights organizations that Chadian soldiers have gone missing.
We hope that an investigation by the Chadian authorities will help shed full light on this matter./.