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Official speeches and statements - August 12, 2016

Published on August 15, 2016

1. Russia - Ukraine - Syria - Conversation between M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and his Russian counterpart - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Deputy Spokesperson (Paris - August 11, 2016)

On 11 August 2016, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault spoke by phone to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. The two ministers exchanged views on the situations in Ukraine and Syria.

M. Ayrault emphasized the importance for Ukraine and Russia of resolving recent tensions over the situation in Crimea through dialogue, avoiding any escalation. He reiterated that France, working with Germany, will continue its efforts to implement the package of measures developed under the Minsk agreement within the Normandy format.

With regard to the situation in Syria, he reiterated the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities, the only thing that will enable the prompt resumption of political negotiations. As for the city of Aleppo, he stressed the imperative need to end the bombing of civilians, and in particular the bombing of hospitals, as well as the urgent need to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The two ministers ended their conversation by discussing the latest negotiations on the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

2. Thailand - Attacks - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Deputy Spokesperson (Paris - August 12, 2016)

France condemns the series of coordinated bomb attacks that struck several beach resort areas in the south of the country last night and this morning, leaving at least four dead and many injured.

We offer our condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones and assure the Thai people of our absolute solidarity.

French nationals and travelers are advised to exercise maximum caution and stay away from crowds. They should also let their loved ones in France know that they are all right.

Since yesterday evening, the Quai d’Orsay’s crisis and support center has been closely monitoring the situation, in conjunction with our embassy in Bangkok.

More information for French nationals traveling to Thailand may be found by visiting our conseils aux voyageurs (advice for travelers) web page:

3. Fight against terrorism - Select Defense Council - Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Interior - excerpts (Paris - August 11, 2016)

The Interior Minister attended the Defense Council meeting on 11 August and gave an update on the fight against terrorism.

The President recalled «the need for constant vigilance» and confirmed the «expansion of the operational reserve force». The force has been increased to 12,500 women and men. (...) Bernard Cazeneuve added that nearly 4,700 contracts had been signed for the National Police reserve force. Finally, 6,000 troops from Operation Sentinelle have been deployed outside the capital. (...)

The Interior Minister had emphasized that events which do not have the necessary security safeguards will be cancelled. Of the 60 events planned between now and the end of the summer, only 15 have been cancelled or postponed. (...)

The Minister announced that he will visit Lourdes for the pilgrimage and the Var [department] for the fireworks, to supervise the security measures being put in place.

Many messages with a view to the perpetration of terrorist attacks are now being exchanged via encrypted means, which makes the intelligence services work even more difficult. This is a new challenge that demands an international response in order to be effective, the Interior Minister stressed. Bernard Cazeneuve will meet his German counterpart at the end of August to launch a European initiative. He said France will make proposals, as it did for the Internet, recalling that France was the first country to sign a charter with the web giants and that other countries followed suit. (...)

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