Paris, May 4, 2012

Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 4th May 2012)

Russia – Attacks in Dagestan (May 3, 2012)

France strongly condemns the twin terrorist attacks that have just hit the city of Makhachkala in Dagestan. The toll is very heavy : more than a dozen people have been killed and many others injured.

France extends its condolences to the families of the victims and expresses its solidarity with the Russian authorities. It reaffirms its support for the fight against all forms of terrorism everywhere.

Journalists murdered in Mexico and Somalia (May 3, 2012)

France utterly condemns the murders of journalists in Mexico and Somalia on May 3, 2012.

In Veracruz, journalists Guillermo Luna, Gabriel Huge and Esteban Rodríguez were murdered less than a week after the murder of their colleague, Regina Martinez.

In Galkayo in central Somalia, Farhan Jeemis Abdulle, who worked for Radio Daljir, is the 5th journalist to be killed in this country since the beginning of the year.

France extends its condolences to their families, their friends and their editorial teams and colleagues.

These murders, which were carried out on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, reaffirm – if there were any need – the price paid by journalists in Mexico and Somalia, as in too many other countries, in exercising their profession.

As Mr. Alain Juppé stressed yesterday, “We must commend the courage of all those throughout the world who risk their lives to defend the basic human right of press freedom and freedom of expression, while violations of this universal, essential right persist in many countries.”

In this context, France reaffirms its solidarity with the Mexican and Somali journalists who play a critical role, in especially difficult conditions, in the dissemination of free and pluralistic information. It demands that full light be shed on these murders and that those responsible be identified, arrested and brought to trial.

France calls on the authorities of all countries in which journalists face insecurity, to take all necessary measures to allow journalists to carry out their work freely and in complete safety.

Syria – Killing of students from Aleppo University (May 3, 2012)

France strongly condemns the killing of 4 students yesterday in Aleppo and all forms of violence perpetrated by the Syrian security forces against students in this city, as well as the many related arrests.

We note once again that Damascus is failing to comply with its commitments and is continuing the crackdown. France again calls for the immediate and full implementation of the provisions set forth in the 6-point plan proposed by the Joint UN and Arab League Special Envoy.

The Syrian regime’s full cooperation with Mr. Annan, as well as with the UN observer mission currently being deployed, constitutes an international obligation under UN Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043.

Yesterday, during a telephone conversation, the Ministre d’Etat reaffirmed to Mr. Annan France’s full support for his efforts and the urgent need for the full deployment of the observers ; nothing must interfere with their freedom of action.

If Damascus continues to flout its commitments, the international community, including the Security Council, will have to draw the consequences.

Comoros/ floods – France’s mobilization

France is mobilized to help the people affected by the serious floods that have hit the Comoros archipelago in recent weeks and caused a lot of damage in several regions of the three islands of Ngazidja, Nzwani and Mwali. According to the initial assessments, 46,000 people have been affected and 9,200 are homeless.

In response to the request by the Comoros government, the Ministre d’Etat has decided to provide emergency relief. To this end, the Crisis Center and the French Embassy in Moroni are cooperating with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s Indian Ocean Regional Intervention Platform (PIROI). This relief will enable basic necessities, logistical equipment and products for water treatment, hygiene and waterborne disease prevention to be delivered to the people affected.

The equipment and products, which are expected to arrive in Moroni tomorrow, Saturday, May 5, will be dispatched from Réunion and Mayotte by the Ministry for Defense and Veterans.

Ukraine – "Euro 2012"

With the approach of Euro 2012, jointly organized by Poland and Ukraine, which will be an important sporting event, France reiterates her deep concern about developments in the political situation in Ukraine, and the fate of Ms. Tymoshenko in particular.

France reaffirms that the European Union’s relationship with Ukraine, as with the other countries of the Eastern Partnership, is based on values of freedom, democracy and the respect of fundamental rights.

We call on the Ukrainian authorities to honor their commitments concerning the respect for fundamental freedoms and to take the necessary decisions on this in the next few weeks.

We’re currently in close contact with our European partners in view of the situation.

Dernière modification : 04/05/2012

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