Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - March 7, 2016) [fr]
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Rmain Nadal, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international Development spokesman (Paris, March, 7th 2016)
Earlier today, Jean-Marc Ayrault welcomed Philippe Jahshan, president of Coordination Sud, to the Quai d’Orsay. They discussed the group’s efforts and major challenges for international solidarity.
This afternoon, the minister of foreign affairs and international development will meet with a team from ONE, the NGO founded by the singer Bono, and with 50 young French nationals who are among the 300 Youth Ambassadors working to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.
During that meeting, Mr. Ayrault will underscore France’s support for the efforts of nongovernmental organizations and civil society, which play an important role in achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals.
France condemns this morning’s attack on the Tunisian town of Ben Gardane by terrorists coming from Libya. Several civilians, including a 12-year-old child, were killed, as were members of the security forces.
We offer our condolences to the victims’ families. We reaffirm our solidarity with the people and authorities of Tunisia, whose transition to democracy was exemplary. It is precisely for that reason that the country is being targeted by terrorists.
This attack only heightens the urgent need for a political solution in Libya.
Yemen –Attack on home for the elderly (Aden, March 4)
France condemns the March 4th attack on a home for the elderly run by nuns from the order founded by Mother Teresa. Sixteen people were killed in the attack, and an Indian priest was reported missing.
We offer our condolences to the victims’ families and reaffirm our solidarity with the people and authorities of Yemen.
A political agreement between all political forces in Yemen and the implementation of resolution 2216 to effectively combat terrorism are all the more urgent. France reaffirms its support for the efforts of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad, and calls on all the parties to resume their dialogue.
Iraq – Attacks in Hilla (March 6)
We condemn the deadly attack committed by Daesh on March 6 in Hilla, south of Baghdad.
France offers its condolences to the victims’ families.
We will do our part in the international coalition’s efforts to combat Daesh through Operation Chammal and will provide our full support to the Iraqi authorities in the fight against terrorism.
Benin – First round of the presidential election (March 6)
France welcomes the smooth unfolding of the first round of Benin’s presidential elections on March 6.
We applaud the civic spirit of the people of Benin, who went to the polls in an atmosphere of calm.
This election demonstrates once again the vitality of Benin’s democracy.
France condemns the murder, on March 3, of Berta Caceres, general coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, and an activist for the environment, human rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples.
We offer our condolences to her loved ones, and to the people of Honduras. Everything must be done to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of this heinous crime, as President Hernandez has pledged to do.
France, which chairs the COP21, applauds Berta Caceres’s courageous fight to defend the access of the indigenous population and the country’s poorest people to natural resources.
Economic diplomacy - Greece/Albania - French company selected to build part of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline
The French authorities are pleased that a French company, SPIECAPAG (VINCI Construction), was selected to build three lots of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in Greece and Albania.
This contract, worth several hundred million euros, is the largest ever awarded to France in the Balkans and reflects France’s excellence in this sector.
This pipeline will connect Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II gas fields to Italy via a connection with the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border. The TAP will cross Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea and will be 870 km long, with a 105 km segment under the Adriatic. Work is slated to begin in 2016 and should take 34 months. Gas should be supplied via the pipeline to the countries of Europe in early 2020.
Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said that three billion dollars (for military equipment) would no longer be delivered to the Lebanese army and would be redirected to the Saudi army. What is the reaction of France, which, during the signing of the agreement, had emphasized its support for Lebanon and for strengthening the Lebanese armed forces in view of the threats facing that country? Will France help Lebanon directly, without Saudi financing?
With respect to the terms of our military cooperation with Lebanon, we suggest you ask the Ministry of Defense.
France is committed to Lebanon’s stability. Lebanon’s armed forces contribute to this stability, and that is the subject of the arms contract to which you are referring.
The Saudi crown prince’s visit to Paris provided an opportunity to discuss this issue and to continue our dialogue on the situation in Lebanon.