Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - February 24, 2017)
• Lake Chad region / Humanitarian crisis – Jean-Marie Le Guen attending Oslo conference (February 24, 2017)
• Niger – Attack on a military patrol (February 22, 2017)
• Mali – Launch of joint patrols in Gao (February 23, 2017)
• Syria – Attack near Al Bab (February 24, 2017)
• Philippines / Human rights – Arrest of Leila de Lima (February 24, 2017)
Today Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir is welcoming a delegation of Moldovan deputies led by Valentina Buliga, chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and European Integration, and of the France-Moldova friendship group.
They will review our bilateral relationship and relations between the EU and Moldova.
Minister of State for Development and Francophonie Jean-Marie Le Guen is attending today’s humanitarian conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in Oslo.
He will stress the commitment of France and the international community to the countries of the Lake Chad basin, where violence by the terrorist group Boko Haram is sparking a major humanitarian crisis.
France allocated more than €13.5 million in aid to the four countries of the Lake Chad basin in 2016, including more than €9 million for the victims of Boko Haram terrorism. This effort will be maintained over the coming year.
The year 2017 will also see the implementation of the Lake Chad Initiative to carry out development projects in the areas affected by the crisis in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. This initiative, to which the French Development Agency has contributed €5 million, has been given a boost by €31 million in funding from the EU Emergency Trust Fund. The environmental aspect of the crisis will be taken into account through support for projects focusing on natural resource management and the rehabilitation of Lake Chad ecosystems.
In the face of this major regional crisis, France remains fully mobilized, particularly in its support for the multinational joint task force fighting Boko Haram.
France condemns the attack on a Niger military patrol near Interzawane on February 22 that left 15 dead and 19 injured. It offers its condolences to the victims’ families and to the authorities of Niger.
We applaud the courage of Niger’s forces, whose commitment to the fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel must be supported.
France will continue to back Niger. It hails the resolve of the countries of the region to step up their efforts to secure their borders.
France welcomes the operational launch of the first joint patrol in Gao on February 23 organized within the framework of the peace and reconciliation process between the Malian armed forces and the various movements that signed the Algiers agreement.
This important milestone comes a few weeks after the attack carried out in the same location against the elements that were preparing this operation. The concrete commitment of all parties to the Algiers agreement represents a clear response to the enemies of peace.
France encourages all parties to implement the other commitments made during the high-level meeting in Bamako on February 10: the organization of joint patrols in other regions, the establishment of interim regional authorities and preparations for a national reconciliation conference.
France condemns the attack carried out near Al Bab in Syria, which killed more than 40 people.
We assure the Syrian people of our wholehearted solidarity in the face of terrorism.
France reaffirms its determination to combat terrorism, especially within the international coalition against Daesh.
France was concerned to learn of the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima, one of the leading opposition figures in the Philippines and former Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.
It is monitoring the situation very closely.
The consequences of the anti-drug campaign, with an increase in extrajudicial killings, are especially alarming. The Philippines must respect the rule of law and international human rights commitments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
We’ve just learned that Daesh has claimed responsibility for an attack in Iraq that killed 15 Iraqi border guards. How do you respond to that?
We condemn this attack near Trebil, on the border with Jordan.
We offer our condolences to the victims’ families.
France reaffirms its solidarity with the Iraqi people and government and stands by their side in the fight against terrorism.