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Official speeches and statements - November 7, 2016

Published on November 7, 2016

1. Mali - Death of a French soldier - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - November 5, 2016)

The President was shocked to learn of the death last night of an NCO of the La Braconne 515th Régiment du Train [transport and logistics regiment] following injuries sustained in a mine explosion yesterday afternoon when his armored vehicle drove over it in an operation in northern Mali.

He pays tribute to the sacrifice of this French soldier killed while carrying out his mission to defend our country and protect our fellow citizens.

He extends his heartfelt condolences to his family and close friends, and assures them of the nation’s wholehearted solidarity in these painful circumstances.

The President expresses his confidence and pride in the soldiers of the French forces who are lending their support to the Malian army and to the United Nations mission in order to implement the peace agreement in Mali and quell armed terrorist groups, the threat from which hangs over the whole of the Sahel.


2. Migration - United Kingdom- Dismantling of the «Calais Jungle» - Reply given by M. Manuel Valls, Prime Minister, to a question in the Senate - excerpts (Paris - November 3, 2016)

(...)

Yesterday, when I hosted a meeting with the President of the ADF [Assemblée des départements de France]—as Laurence Rossignol pointed out just now—and the first Vice-President delegate of the AMF [Association des maires de France], we took stock with the ministers concerned - Bernard Cazeneuve, Jean-Jacques Urvoas, Emmanuelle Cosse and Laurence Rossignol—of how the reception of families—adults and minors—was being organized.

But let’s go back over things objectively. Germany—this was its choice—has taken in 1.5 million migrants, under special conditions. Was France, the world’s fifth-largest power, with a population of 66 million, not capable of resolving the intolerable problem of Calais—intolerable both for the refugees themselves, who were living there in humiliating conditions, and for the people of the Pas-de-Calais and Nord, who were suffering the consequences? Was it not capable of distributing 5,000, 6,000 or 7,000 people across its territory under decent conditions, in accordance with its values?

We had to get rid of that camp, that so-called «jungle». The operation was conducted with professionalism by the state services—the OFII [French Office for Immigration and Integration], OFPRA [French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons] and the prefecture—with the support, most of the time, of voluntary organizations and NGOs and thanks to the hospitality of the mayors, to whom I paid tribute yesterday. Admittedly, there may have been the odd communication problem, but even so! What image must France show the world? We must show our ability to fulfill our duty, namely to take in those fleeing war, torture and persecution.

The discussions with our British friends are sometimes tense, but they finally decided to take in several hundred minors who were in Calais. We must keep a close eye on this commitment.

The situation Paris is experiencing isn’t linked to that of Calais. It’s the result of the migratory situation in Europe. Look at what’s happening in Italy—where 25,000 to 30,000 people are arriving every week—or in Greece.

Look at what’s happening, too, on the other side of the Mediterranean. I had the opportunity to do so during my visit to West Africa: the migratory situation in Europe is partly being played out over there.

We must clearly guarantee the protection of our external borders.

As for me, I’m proud to lead a government that is acting to implement the right of asylum, because 80% of the Calais migrants, who come from Syria and the Horn of Africa, will be eligible for it. It is to France’s credit that it’s accomplishing that mission in the best possible way. (...)

We won’t allow certain people to stir up anger among the population and attack elected representatives, reception centers or the migrants themselves.

Appeals to the state’s authority are often made on these benches. The state’s authority is present in Calais, it will be present in the Stalingrad district of Paris and it will be present to enforce not only the laws of the Republic but also that international right, the right of asylum. It is to France’s credit that it has integrated that right into its legislation and is respecting it.


3. Climate - Paris Agreement - COP22 - Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs (Paris - November 6, 2016)

Mme Ségolène Royal, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, responsible for International Climate Relations, has signed an agreement with the African Development Bank to support the development of renewable energy in Africa.

On the eve of the opening of COP22 in Marrakesh, Ségolène Royal spoke to Frannie Léautier, Vice-President of the African Development Bank, which is hosting the Delivery Unit of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, decided during COP21.

Ségolène Royal and Frannie Léautier signed a partnership agreement between the French Republic and the African Development Bank on the implementation of the Initiative: as promised, France is contributing to the Delivery Unit’s operation and activities.

This contribution will allow us to step up the Delivery Unit’s action to achieve the Initiative’s goals: to develop 10GW of renewable energy projects in Africa between now and 2020.

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