Paris, March 30, 2012
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 30 March 2012)
North Korea/ Rocket launch
The space rocket launch envisaged by North Korea would clearly violate the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Indeed, space launch vehicles and ballistic missiles use very similar technology. However, resolution 1874 (2009) notably demands that North Korea not conduct any “launch using ballistic missile technology.”
As soon as the announcement was made by Pyongyang on March 16, we, like all our partners, called on North Korea to abandon these plans and to comply with its international obligations. We renew this appeal.
Reaction to the upsurge in violence and fighting between the Toubou group and Arab tribes in southern Libya
France deplores the numerous victims of the violence that broke out on Saturday in Sabha. It calls on the various actors to demonstrate calm and encourages the transitional government to continue its efforts to stabilize the situation and to encourage dialogue between the conflicting parties.
These tragic events underscore the urgent need to re-establish the rule of law throughout the Libyan territory and to reorganize the national institutions responsible for security. They also demonstrate the importance of a political process that will take into account the needs of all Libyan regions and will allow the various communities to play their full part.
France, together with the UN and the EU, is striving to provide the new Libyan authorities with all the assistance they need, notably with respect to the reform of the security sector, while respecting Libya’s sovereignty.
France also encourages the Libyan authorities to continue their efforts to promote national reconciliation, which is a prerequisite for a successful transition process.
Mr. Alain Juppé has just spoken on the telephone with Mr. Kofi Annan, the Joint UN and Arab League Special Envoy for Syria. He supported Mr. Annan’s demand for the urgent implementation of emergency measures to enforce his plan, in particular - at a time when the regime is attacking its population - the withdrawal of the army and their heavy weapons from the cities and an end to the crackdown.
Furthermore, I underline that France fully supports the Arab League’s efforts to find a solution to the crisis so that the Syrians who are sacrificing themselves for democracy will finally be able to freely determine their destiny.
The Syrian crisis dominated the debates at the Arab League summit that has just taken place in Baghdad.
The Arab League has been adopting courageous positions since November and has proposed a political plan to resolve the crisis which was supported by nearly all Member States of the UNGA. The final resolution adopted unanimously at the Baghdad summit is fully in line with this process and is notably based on the Arab League plan of January 22. It unequivocally supports the mission of the Joint UN and Arab League Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Kofi Annan, whose mandate and proposals are based on the Arab League’s plan, aimed at putting an end to the violence and initiating a democratic transition in Syria.
Myanmar/ Burma – Parliamentary by-elections on April 1
The parliamentary by-elections that will take place on Sunday in Burma are of particular political significance. These are the first elections in which all opposition parties have been able to participate since 1990, unlike those of November 2010. The National League for Democracy has agreed to participate in them and Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi herself is a candidate.
Shortcomings have been noted on the ground, as Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi pointed out. President Thein Sein acknowledged this last week when he spoke about “unnecessary errors.” We expect the authorities to ensure that the elections are held in a democratic and transparent manner on Sunday. We’re keeping a close eye on this process.
President Thein Sein has invited the EU, ASEAN, the United States and the United Nations to observe the voting process. Like its EU partners, France will send a diplomat from its embassy to participate in the observation of these elections.