Paris, April 10, 2012
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 10th April 2012)
Mr. Alain Juppé’s participation in the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting (Washington, April 11 and 12)
The Ministre d’Etat, Alain Juppé, will be in Washington from Wednesday, April 11 to Thursday, April 12 for a G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting.
The key issues for the Ministre d’Etat will be as follows :
The crisis in Syria will be discussed, while the regime is refusing to uphold the commitments that it had itself made, while it’s setting out further unacceptable demands, while it’s continuing to massacre its own people and while it’s violating the sovereignty of its neighbors.
The situation in Mali will be discussed, while a political transition is being set in motion in Bamako.
With respect to Iran, the G8 meeting will allow us to evaluate the situation a few days ahead of the discussions in Istanbul between the E3+3 and Iran aimed at persuading Tehran to respond to the international community’s concerns regarding its nuclear program.
The Ministre d’Etat will review progress with respect to the implementation of the Deauville Partnership designed to support the Arab countries in transition. He will also present France’s views on the Middle East peace process in response to the report that will be presented by the Quartet to the G8 Ministers.
North Korea will also be discussed, while Pyongyang’s plans to launch a rocket in the next few days in violation of the Security Council resolutions are causing serious tensions.
Regarding Afghanistan, the gradual handover of responsibility for security to the Afghan forces, the conditions for regional cooperation and the continuation of international aid will be discussed.
Lastly, the ministers will also address certain global issues, such as terrorism, maritime piracy, governance and global growth.
Meeting between the Ministre d’Etat and Ms. Tawakkol Karman (April 10, 2012)
The Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, will receive Ms. Tawakkol Karman, the Yemeni winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, for a meeting on Tuesday, April 10.
This meeting will provide an opportunity for the Ministre d’Etat to reaffirm France’s support for the political transition under way in Yemen and his wish that all Yemenis, particularly the youth, which Ms. Karman represents, be fully involved in it, notably within the framework of national dialogue, which we hope will be initiated as swiftly as possible.
This meeting will also provide an opportunity to encourage the efforts undertaken by the new president of the Republic, Mr. Hadi, to successfully conclude this process, and, within this framework, to promote the rule of law. This meeting will allow us to reaffirm the importance that France attaches to ensuring that all Yemeni parties fully respect their commitments and do not obstruct the authorities’ action.
Lastly, this meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation which is of particular concern to us and to reaffirm France’s determination to play its full role within the framework of the process to provide international support, as set forth in the transition agreement.
Firing by the Syrian army into Lebanese and Turkish territories
This morning, the Ministre d’Etat called his Turkish counterpart, a day after the Syrian forces deliberately fired against a refugee camp in Turkey, injuring two Turkish citizens as well as 4 Syrian refugees. He expressed to him his solidarity, his anger and his condemnation.
The Ministre d’Etat requested our ambassador in Beirut to convey the same message to the Lebanese authorities after Syrian forces fired into Lebanese territory, killing a Lebanese journalist and injuring two other reporters from the Al-Jadeed television channel ; we utterly condemn these attacks.
Not content with persecuting its own people, the Damascus regime is attacking the territory of its neighbors, in complete violation of international law and all its international commitments.
France extends its condolences to the families and friends of those who died and expresses its wholehearted solidarity with the authorities of these two countries.
The Damascus regime is also continuing to inflict violence within its own territory, flouting the commitments that it made to the Joint UN and Arab League Special Envoy, Mr. Kofi Annan.
Likewise, the statements issued this morning by the Syrian foreign minister affirming the first step toward the implementation by the Damascus regime of Mr. Annan’s plan are a further expression of this blatant and unacceptable lie. They indicate a sense of impunity to which the international community has an obligation to respond. This will be the focus of France’s action at the G8 meeting in Washington and within the UN Security Council.
Pakistan – Avalanche on the Siachen Glacier
France was extremely saddened to learn of the death of 135 people in the avalanche that hit the 6th Northern Light Infantry Battalion, tasked with monitoring the Gayari sector on the Siachen Glacier on April 7.
France shares the families’ pain and extends its condolences to all those who lost a loved one in this tragic avalanche.
Nigeria – Attacks
France condemns the terrorist attacks which left more than 40 people dead over the weekend, indiscriminately affecting the entire Nigerian population.
France expresses its condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
In these tragic circumstances, France reaffirms its solidarity with Nigeria and its support for its efforts to combat terrorism.
China – Sentencing of Ni Yulan and her husband Dong Jiqin
France expresses its deep concern at the announcement of the prison sentences handed down to Ni Yulan and her husband Dong Jiqin, human rights activists in China. It deplores the disproportionate nature of these sentences and is closely following their situation.
France reaffirms that human rights activists must be able to carry out their activities freely anywhere.
We frequently address this topic with our Chinese partners within the framework of the EU-China dialogue on human rights.