Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - March 24, 2017)
• International Criminal Court – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (Paris - March 24, 2017)
• Ukraine – Meeting of the political directors in the Normandy format (Paris - March 24, 2017)
• Military cooperation – "Jeanne d’Arc 2017" campaign
• Belarus – Arrest of demonstrators
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, received Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman, during the French-Omani political dialogue session.
The discussions focused on the development of our bilateral relations as well as on the regional crises in the Middle East, where the Sultanate of Oman plays a critical and helpful role.
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive, on March 24, Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC and Minister of Justice of Senegal.
Jean-Marc will reaffirm France’s unwavering support for the ICC, the first universally applicable international criminal court, which plays a critical role in combating the impunity of perpetrators of mass crimes.
The meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss relations between Africa and the court.
In accordance with the decisions made in Munich on February 18 by the ministers of the Normandy format countries, a follow-up meeting involving France, Germany and Ukraine was held on March 24 in Paris.
France and Germany deeply regret the fact that Russia was not represented at this meeting. It is up to the Russian Federation to play a constructive role in implementing the Minsk agreements, to which it is a signatory, in order to find a lasting and peaceful solution to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
The meeting was attended by the four coordinators of the working groups led by Ambassador Sajdik, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group, and helped improve coordination between the work taking place in Minsk and the Normandy format. Several priority action areas were identified on the security, political, economic and humanitarian fronts. France and Germany call on the parties to commit themselves in good faith to taking swift action on these fronts, under the auspices of the Trilateral Contact Group.
We pay tribute to the role of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in stabilizing the situation on the ground and call on Ukraine and Russia to do everything possible to allow it to fully exercise its mandate and to ensure the safety of its observers and its personnel.
As it does every year, the "Jeanne d’Arc 2017" campaign provides operational training for officer cadets in the French Navy.
The Mistral and Courbet vessels, which carry out this mission, entered Indo-Pacific space a few days ago for a 4-month deployment, with a British detachment on board, reflecting the vitality of defense relations between Paris and London. Just as the vessels of other navies do, French vessels will conduct multilateral exercises in order to develop cooperation and knowledge of this area of deployment, which is admittedly a long way from France, but not from our territories. The ports of call in this region will also provide an opportunity to strengthen defense ties with India, Singapore, Vietnam, China, Japan and Australia.
Through these exercises and ports of call in a region that includes French territories, our armed forces are exercising the freedom of navigation and are carrying out their mission to protect, provide operational presence, and promote international cooperation, as is the case everywhere. These missions reflect France’s commitment to a rules-based international order, by promoting dialogue and greater mutual understanding.
France is concerned at the wave of arrests taking place in Belarus of opposition leaders, activists, citizens and journalists for participating in peaceful demonstrations.
France reaffirms its attachment to the freedom of demonstration, assembly, association and expression.
The relations between the EU and Belarus must be based on shared values, especially respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.