Paris, June 25, 2012
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 25th June 2012) :
Myanmar/Burma – Visit to France by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (June 26-29)
At the President’s invitation, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, a deputy in the Burmese Parliament and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy, will visit France on June 26-29.
On the occasion of this visit, the last stop in her first trip to Europe in nearly 25 years, France will pay tribute to this extraordinary woman’s battle for human rights and will emphasize its active support for the democratic transition process under way in Burma.
On June 27, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will welcome Aung San Suu Kyi to the Quai d’Orsay for a meeting followed by a dinner in her honor. On this occasion, the Foreign Minister and Aung San Suu Kyi will plant a tree of liberty in the gardens of the Quai d’Orsay.
In addition to her meeting with the President at the Elysée Palace upon her arrival, the Nobel laureate will be welcomed by the Presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate, as well as by the Mayor of Paris, a city of which she is an honorary citizen.
In line with her wish to meet European young people, she will visit the Sorbonne for a lecture/discussion with students. She will also meet with representatives of French nongovernmental organizations that have mobilized their efforts throughout the years for human rights, humanitarian aid and development in Burma, and will be the guest of honor at the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society.
Can you update us on the status of international aid to Europe via the Deauville Partnership ? Financial pledges, disbursements, any projects, etc. Will this aid be stepped up, following the election of the Egyptian president ?
As the President noted, France is highly involved in the Deauville Partnership to support the transition in the Arab countries.
In 2011, France pledged at Deauville to provide 650 million euros in assistance to Egypt for period 2011-2013. In January 2012, we earmarked 300 millions euros to extend the third metro line in Cairo.
The political transition under way, which took an important step this weekend with the election of the President, should help accelerate the funding of projects in Egypt.
A Syrian general defected to Turkey on Sunday night. Do you have any comment ?
This latest defection shows that a growing number of members of the Syrian security forces and army are refusing to participate in the repression of the Syrian people.
It is a courageous choice.
We reiterate our call to the Syrian security forces to do their duty to protect the people and not to carry out this bloody crackdown by carrying out the criminal orders of the Assad regime.