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Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - January 23, 2017)

Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - January 23, 2017)

Published on March 16, 2015

Digital diplomacy – "Hackathon" (Paris - January 25-26, 2017)

On January 25 and 26, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will meet with the participants in the first "hackathon" organized by the ministry, a marathon event that will provide an opportunity for developers to devise innovative digital solutions.

During this two-day event, 92 participants and 26 teams from a variety of backgrounds (students, developers, researchers and computer scientists from the private sector and the government) will work on proposals for applications of relevance to the Quai d’Orsay and to users.

There are many areas that offer opportunities for digital innovation, from the enhancement of archives to travel information platforms and academic exchanges. The best projects will be recognized by a jury.

This event reflects the priority accorded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development to digital diplomacy and falls within the framework of France’s presidency of the Open Government Partnership. A participatory consultation process on France’s international strategy on digital technology was notably launched on November 23, 2016:

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European Union – Harlem Désir’s participation in the informal meeting of the General Affairs Council (Valletta - January 23-24, 2017)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will take part in the informal meeting of the General Affairs Council in Valletta from January 23 to 24.

This meeting will focus on the priorities of the Maltese presidency for the next six months and on the revitalization of the European project in the run-up to the summits in Valletta (February 3) and Rome (March 25).

As part of the France-Germany Day to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Elysée Treaty, Harlem Désir and his German counterpart, Michael Roth, will meet with Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat. They will visit the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), whose headquarters is located in Malta. They will also take part in an exchange with students at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta on the "Franco-German tandem in the face of the EU’s current challenges."


Jordan – Meeting between Matthias Fekl and Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry and Trade (Paris - January 23, 2017)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will today receive Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry and Trade of Jordan.

This meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss French-Jordanian bilateral trade, the level of which has risen sharply over the last few months. In 2015, our trade resulted in a surplus of almost €300 million. France is a major investor in Jordan, where French firms have a strong presence in the telecommunications, service and urban infrastructure sectors.

The two ministers will also take stock of the implementation of the agreement between the EU and Jordan adopted in December which is aimed at supporting Jordan, which is hosting more than 650,000 Syrian refugees.


Union for the Mediterranean – Regional Forum (Barcelona - January 23, 2017)

Jean-Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will take part in the ministerial meeting of the second Union for the Mediterranean Regional Forum in Barcelona on January 23.

This meeting will provide an opportunity to take stock of the main regional crises (Libya, Syria, Iraq and the Sahel), the Middle East peace process and the priorities of the Union for the Mediterranean. The focus will be on the need to respond to youth expectations, especially with respect to training and integration into the labor market, and therefore contribute to the fight against radicalization and illegal migration.

The ministers must adopt a road map identifying the main lines of action for the future.


Gambia – End of political crisis

France welcomes the end of the political crisis in Gambia, which respects the Gambian people’s democratic choice to elect their new president, Adama Barrow.

We congratulate ECOWAS, the African Union, the UN, and the national leaders who worked to achieve a negotiated settlement, particularly Presidents Alpha Condé and Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

We hope that President Barrow will be able to take up his duties promptly in Banjul in order to form a government and begin the new authorities’ enormous task of reconciliation and development.

Through bilateral assistance and European contributions, France will continue to provide support for Gambia. The new government can count on its solidarity.


Pakistan – Attack (January 21, 2017)

France condemns the attack on January 21 on a market in Parachinar (Kurram Agency) that, according to the latest reports, left 24 dead and nearly 100 injured.

In these tragic circumstances, we offer our condolences to the victims’ families.
France assures Pakistan of its solidarity in the fight against terrorism.


Israel / Palestinian Territories – Granting of building permits for East Jerusalem (January 22, 2017)

France condemns the Israeli authorities’ issuance of permits on January 22 to build 566 homes in the settlements of Ramat Shlomo, Ramot and Pisgat Ze’ev, in East Jerusalem.

UN Security Council resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016, underscores the illegality of settlements under international law and demands an immediate and complete halt to such activity.

Settlements represent a serious threat to the two-state solution, to which the international community reiterated its commitment at the international conference in Paris on January 15. The two-state solution remains the only possibility for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

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