Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - September 26, 2016)
• Gabon / Announcement of the results of the presidential election – Reminder of the statement issued by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (September 24, 2016)
• United Kingdom – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs of the Scottish Government (Paris - September 26, 2016)
• Colombia / Signing of the peace agreement – Visit by André Vallini (September 26, 2016)
• Jordan – Murder of Nahed Hattar (September 25, 2016)
At the request of France, the United States and the United Kingdom, the Security Council is holding an emergency meeting today. This meeting should open up prospects for ending the fighting that is raging in Aleppo and is once again testing the limits of the population of this martyred city.
Bashar al-Assad’s regime has clearly chosen military escalation while everyone knows that the only way to resolve the conflict in Syria is through political means.
I therefore call on its supporters—Russia and Iran—to regroup and demonstrate a sense of responsibility by putting an end to this strategy which is resulting in deadlock. Otherwise Russia and Iran will be accomplices to the war crimes committed in Aleppo.
It is up to the Security Council to press for an immediate cessation of hostilities, in Aleppo first of all, which will therefore allow access by the population to much-needed humanitarian assistance.
As I proposed this week in all of the meetings devoted to Syria on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, this truce must also be accompanied by a monitoring mechanism making it possible to build the necessary trust thanks to the mobilization of all member states of the International Syria Support Group that are ready to contribute to it.
Given the seriousness of the tragedy unfolding in Aleppo, there is no more time to waste in order to save the people who are suffering yet further hardships. This is a moment of truth for all Security Council members. My dearest hope is that everyone will live up to their responsibilities.
Gabon / Announcement of the results of the presidential election – Reminder of the statement issued by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (September 24, 2016)
The Constitutional Court has announced the results of the presidential election in Gabon. France respects the Gabonese institutions. It is attached to the deep ties that unite it with Gabon.
It was with this in mind that it called for a transparent and impartial review of the results in order to resolve all questions, notably those raised by the EU Observation Mission. France notes that the appeal proceedings did not remove all doubts.
France believes that the Gabonese authorities have the primary responsibility for taking initiatives to restore the Gabonese people’s confidence in their institutions; these initiatives should not cause Gabon to stray from international standards in the field of human rights and the rule of law.
France also calls on those who are continuing to challenge the results to reject any violent action and to pursue their claims in ways that do not jeopardize peace and the well-being of the country. France would like to continue to coordinate with its African, European and international partners. It notably encourages the African Union to continue its efforts.
Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will today receive Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs of the Scottish Government.
Ms. Hyslop and Mr. Désir will take stock of key current European issues. They will discuss the strengthening of ties in the educational and cultural spheres, within the framework of the cooperation measures developed since 2013, as well as investment opportunities for French firms in Scotland.
André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will visit Cartagena today to take part in the official ceremony for the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC.
This visit reflects France’s support for the process and the peace agreement. It follows on from the bilateral meeting between President Hollande and President Santos on September 20 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
This historic agreement puts an end to more than 50 years of conflict, which left hundreds of thousands of people dead. It demonstrates that the long and difficult search for peace should be relentlessly pursued. France notably commends the UN’s action on the ground, which established an observer mission to monitor compliance with the agreement.
France stands alongside the Colombian people on their path toward peace. We will continue to support the implementation of the agreement on a bilateral basis by contributing toward the financing of rural development and mine clearance, as well as within the EU and the UN, which will have an important role to play in this regard.
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will visit Colombia from December 16 to 17 to attend the launch of the 2017 France-Colombia cultural exchange program.
We were appalled to learn of the murder of Jordanian writer and journalist Nahed Hattar.
We extend our condolences to his family.
France condemns this heinous act and reaffirms its attachment to the freedom of expression and opinion and freedom of the press everywhere.