Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - May 24, 2017)
• Middle East – International Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence (Madrid - May 24, 2017)
• Mali – Attack on a MINUSMA patrol (May 23, 2017)
• UN / Health – Election of WHO director-general (May 23, 2017)
On May 25, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will accompany the President to Brussels for the meeting of NATO heads of state and government.
This meeting will reaffirm the unity of the Alliance and the strength of the transatlantic relationship, as well as France’s resolve to implement the commitments taken at the Wales summit in 2014 on increasing defense spending and modernizing capacities. This commitment goes hand in hand with current initiatives on strengthening European defense.
The role that NATO can play in support of counterterrorism will also be discussed. France will mark its commitment alongside its allies by participating in the Enhanced Foreign Presence program both within NATO and outside, where France is on the front lines of the fight against terrorism, notably in Africa and the Levant.
France is taking part in the second International Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East, which is being held today in Madrid. The first conference, held in Paris on September 8, 2015, adopted an action plan in support of populations persecuted for ethnic or religious reasons, particularly those belonging to Christian, Yazidi and Shabak minorities.
Support for cultural diversity in the Middle East is a staunch priority for France, whose aim is to allow all residents of Syria and Iraq without distinction to live safely in their countries and enjoy full citizenship. We also call for the international community to exhibit a stronger commitment to the voluntary and safe return of refugees and displaced persons.
That means implementing political solutions in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, we actively support the mediation effort by the UN special envoy to implement the transition defined by the international community. In Iraq, France supports the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and encourages it to continue its efforts on behalf of national reconciliation and to establish inclusive governance.
In addition to its political and military commitments, France pursues a comprehensive policy respecting the diversity all the people of the region. It includes humanitarian shelter and support, assistance with returning to and stabilizing areas freed from Daesh control, support for civil society, fighting impunity, and protecting cultural heritage.
France condemns the attack of May 23 on a MINUSMA patrol near Aguelhok, in which two Chadian peacekeepers were killed and another was wounded.
We offer our condolences to the victims’ families and to the Chadian authorities.
France reiterates its full support for MINUSMA’s efforts to stabilize Mali and protect civilian populations.
France congratulates Tedros Adhanom on his election as director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) and assures him of our support for his mandate.
Many challenges await him, including continuing the reform of WHO governance in order to effectively meet the challenges of tomorrow. He can count on France’s support.
We take this opportunity to applaud the efforts of Margaret Chan, who brought new momentum to WHO by launching a reform process.