Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - February 27, 2017)
• Indonesia – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault (February 27-28, 2017)
• Tourism – Visit by Matthias Fekl to Isère (February 27, 2017)
• Development – Jean-Marie Le Guen’s participation in the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (Paris - February 27, 2017)
• Algeria – Attack in Constantine (February 26, 2017)
• Iraq – Death of an Iraqi journalist in Mosul (February 25, 2017)
• Situation in eastern Ukraine
• Russia / Human rights – Second anniversary of the death of Boris Nemtsov (February 27, 2017)
• Ghana – Direct flights between Paris and Accra (February 28, 2017)
France welcomes the announcement by Morocco today of a unilateral withdrawal from the Guerguerat region. This is an important gesture in terms of easing tensions, taking stability and the interests of the region into account.
France calls on all parties to demonstrate a spirit of responsibility by unconditionally and immediately withdrawing the armed elements active in the same area, in accordance with the ceasefire.
It reaffirms its support for the efforts to find—under the auspices of the UN—a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution in Western Sahara, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. It considers the 2007 Moroccan Autonomy Plan to be a credible and serious basis for achieving this goal.
Jean-Marc Ayrault is visiting Indonesia from February 27 to 28, in preparation for President Hollande’s upcoming visit.
Jean-Marc Ayrault will be received by President Joko Widodo. He will meet with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, within the framework of the high-level political dialogue provided for by the strategic partnership established between our two countries in 2011. He will also meet with Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, with whom he will inaugurate the French club to promote renewable energy in Indonesia. Several bilateral agreements will be signed, notably in the areas of training for diplomats, scientific and technological cooperation between the French and Indonesian space agencies and renewable energy.
The minister of foreign affairs and international development will deliver a speech at the Institut français in Jakarta organized in partnership with the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia think tank, on the partnership forged by France and the EU with Southeast Asia.
During his visit, Jean-Marc Ayrault will visit the orphanage run by the French-Indonesian association "Pour les enfants de la rue—For the street children." He will also inaugurate an exhibition devoted to the work of French architect Jacques Ferrier.
Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will visit Isère, an exemplary department in terms of tourism diversification strategy and climate change adaptation activities, on February 27.
In Villard de Lans, Matthias Fekl will discuss with the elected officials from Vercors the law on modernizing, protecting and developing mountain regions, and then meet with local tourism stakeholders. He will visit the recently renovated "Escandille" holiday village in Autrans-Méaudre which specializes in cultural tourism, as well as the first mountain coaster in Isère.
Matthias Fekl will also visit the ECM Technologies facility, a Grenoble-based manufacturer of industrial furnaces which exports 80% of its production. This firm is a world leader in the construction of low-pressure cementation furnaces and also plays a leading role in several research and development projects. Laurent Pelissier, CEO of ECM Technologies Group, was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.
Jean-Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will convene, on February 27, the National Council for Development and International Solidarity, which provides a framework for dialogue and consultation with civil society actors on development policy priorities.
The discussions will focus on two issues:
- the most recent progress regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the commitments of the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development which met on November 30, 2016;
- the drafting of a guidance paper on the partnership arrangement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and civil society.
The participants will also take stock of international events over the last few months and the functioning of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity.
France condemns the terrorist attack in Constantine on February 26, which injured two police officers.
We wish the victims a speedy recovery.
France assures the Algerian people and authorities of its solidarity at this difficult time. It stands by their side in their courageous and resolute battle against terrorism.
France was saddened to learn of the death of Iraqi journalist Shifa Gardi while she was covering the fighting in Mosul.
We offer her family our condolences.
Over the past decade, journalists have often risked their lives to cover events in their country, as emphasized by the report published this past December by the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, which pointed to 455 journalists killed since 2003.
We reiterate our commitment to the freedom of the press and the protection of journalists worldwide, particularly in conflict zones.
France strongly condemns the resumption of fighting in eastern Ukraine that left several injured in recent days. OSCE monitors were targeted and their equipment was seized.
We call on all the parties to exercise restraint, and on Russia in particular to use its influence with the separatists. We call for the immediate implementation of the ceasefire provided by the Minsk agreements.
Two years ago, during the night of February 27, 2015, Boris Nemtsov, a courageous defender of democracy and freedom, was murdered in Moscow.
France calls for the trial currently under way in Russia to shed all light on this crime.
On February 28, Air France will begin offering direct flights between Paris and Accra.
This is an important step in strengthening bilateral relations between France and Ghana. The launch of this service is doubly symbolic: it comes a few days before the 60th anniversary of Ghanaian independence, on March 6; and throughout 2017, we will celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries through a series of economic and cultural events.
There are more and more French businesses in Ghana, particularly in the energy, transportation and agrifoods sectors. Ghana has become the 7th-largest country for direct French investment in Africa. The direct Paris-Accra flights will further strengthen this trend by facilitating cultural exchanges and tourism between our two countries.