Paris, April 18, 2012
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 18th April 2012) :
Statement by Mr. Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat : ministerial meeting on Syria (Paris, April 19)
The obstacles that Damascus is placing in the way of the deployment of the UN observer mission and the Syrian regime’s continuation of the crackdown in violation of its commitments, calls for a strong response on the part of the international community.
That’s why I’ve invited several of my counterparts from the Group of Friends of Syria to come to Paris to review the situation and to convey a message of firmness to Damascus as well as a message of support to Mr. Kofi Annan.
Having reached an agreement yesterday here in Paris on how to enforce the sanctions, tomorrow we will demonstrate our determination not to allow a process that is critical to the Syrian people to be derailed.
Has the Russian foreign minister been invited to Thursday’s meeting on Syria ? Who’s coming aside from Hillary Clinton ? What time will it take place ? What time will it end ? Will there be a press conference ?
What is the goal of this meeting exactly ? Are you hoping to achieve a concrete decision, for example with respect to plans to pursue new international sanctions or to revive efforts to achieve sanctions at the UNSC ?
I can already confirm that 14 delegations are coming to Paris, including the German, American, Jordanian, Moroccan, Qatari and Saudi Arabian foreign ministers.
Regarding your question about sanctions, this ministerial meeting in Paris isn’t a substitute for the work of the Security Council and as such it wouldn’t be appropriate to invite the members of this Council. This is a complementary process in support of the UNSC’s action.
According to the program that we’re currently working on, the meeting will start at 6:00 pm ; it will be followed by a press conference around 7:30 pm at the end of which Mr. Alain Juppé will invite the participants to a working dinner.
We will provide the practical details regarding the press (accreditation, photo shoot, press conference) in an official communiqué that we will be able to provide you with tomorrow morning.
Mali – Appointment of the interim prime minister, Mr. Cheick Modibo Diarra
France welcomes the appointment of an interim prime minister in Mali, Mr. Cheick Modibo Diarra. Mr. Alain Juppé will convey his congratulations and encouragement to him today.
This appointment is an important milestone in the process to restore constitutional order.
We hope that this achievement will be consolidated by the swift formation of an interim government. France will stand ready to help the latter to prepare for the holding of elections, to re-establish the rule of law in Mali and to find a solution to the crisis in the north through political dialogue that respects the unity and territorial integrity of the country.
We will, like all of our partners, stand alongside the new authorities in order to support them in this task and in the fight against terrorism.
European Court of Human Rights
What is France’s position regarding the ECHR on the eve of the Brighton Conference ?
France reaffirms its attachment to the European Court of Human Rights. It believes that it plays a critical role in the advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe, which are parties to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The Court has been receiving an ever-increasing volume of applications for several years now : almost 65,000 per year and an accumulation of almost 152,000 applications. As a result, the average time taken to judge cases is 7 years, which undermines the right of individual petition.
Since 2010, the States Parties, including France, have been developing, in collaboration with the Court, the reforms needed to resolve this situation.
The Brighton Conference is part of this process and we hope that the final declaration will allow us to make progress in several directions : by increasing the accountability of the States through the implementation of the Convention at the national level ; by strengthening the Court’s authority so that the States Parties and the Court can, at their respective levels, best ensure the implementation of human rights on the European continent.
The Iranian president visited the island of Abu Musa on April 11 ; the Gulf countries denounced this visit as a provocation. What’s your response ?
The Iranian president’s visit on April 11 is inconsistent with the efforts undertaken - in particular by the United Arab Emirates - to resolve this dispute.
We call on Iran to play a constructive role in order to promote a peaceful and just resolution of this issue, while respecting international law and the UN Charter.
Furthermore, France supports the commitment made yesterday by the GCC to promote stability in the region.