Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
(excerpts)

(Paris, June 7, 2007)

[Please note that only the original French text issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.]


FRANCE/AFRICA

As part of his Africa trip, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner will be in Sudan on Sunday and Monday, June 10 and 11.

He will meet with the Sudanese political authorities for talks that will focus on bilateral relations, the major regional issues and the situation in Darfur.

Before that, the minister will be in Mali on June 7 and 8 to attend President Amadou Toumani Toure’s inauguration ceremony, then in Chad on June 9 and 10 where he will have talks with President Idriss Deby Itno and his counterpart, Ahmad Allam-Mi.

Q - Will the minister meet Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir in Khartoum? Will the minister go to Darfur? What meetings are scheduled in Bamako on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony?

With regard to the political meetings the minister has in Khartoum, I refer you to my previous statement.

With regard to bilateral meetings and private conversations on the sidelines of the investiture of President Amadou Toumani Toure, we will be giving you these details at a later date.

MIDDLE EAST

Following the announcement of the expansion of certain settlements in the West Bank, France recalls that it condemns without reservation the founding or expansion of the existing settlements, which are contrary to international law and undermine the efforts being made to revive the peace process.

We call on the Israel government to take the necessary measures to put a freeze on settlement activities in all the Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem.

NORTH KOREA

Q - North Korea has just fired several short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. Your comment?

We don’t have any definite information at this stage on the wire service report. I would remind you that the Security Council, in resolution 1695, called on North Korea to show restraint and to refrain from any action that might exacerbate tension in the region./.

Embassy of France, June 7, 2007