Daily Press Briefing

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

(Paris, October 8, 2007)

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


VIETNAM

France wishes to convey its deepest condolences to the Vietnamese government in the wake of Typhoon Lekima. Its thoughts go out to the people in the disaster-striken areas and especially to the families and friends of the victims to whom it offers its sympathy and support.

TURKEY

France condemns the attacks committed in southeastern Turkey, attributed to the PKK, which claimed the lives of 15 Turkish soldiers.

As Bernard Kouchner reminded his Turkish interlocutors in Ankara on October 5, France is actively engaged in the fight against the PKK, an organization on the European list of terrorist organizations.

SUDAN

Q - The Sudanese press is saying that France is threatening to expel Abdulwahid el-Nour unless he goes to the peace negotiations. What is France’s position here?

France is making every effort to persuade Abdulwahid el-Nour to take part in the inter-Sudanese political process and in particular to join in the negotiations scheduled to be held in Libya at the end of October.

Abdulwahid el-Nour persists in refusing to participate. We regret this position and are continuing efforts to promote the broadest possible participation in the peace talks as the international community forcefully recalled in New York on September 21 at the meeting of the contact group on Sudan.

(…)

COLOMBIA

Q - Has France offered a plane, a ship or anything else as a neutral place for the Venezuelan president’s meeting with the FARC?

I’ve no information about such a proposal.

As you know, we support the mediation efforts pursued by President Chavez, with the agreement of the Colombian authorities, in order to obtain the release of the hostages held by the FARC.

(…)

KOSOVO

Q - What’s your reaction to the suggestion by Wolfgang Ischinger, the EU representative in the troika, regarding the possibility of having an international conference like the Dayton one on the future status of Kosovo, between the end of November and beginning of December? Do you support the principle of such a conference?

We consider that such a conference might actually be opportune.

Q - Do you share the view of Franck Wisner, the US representative in the Troika, that it is unlikely the status of Kosovo will be resolved before the end of 2007?

Before we make a statement, we are waiting for the Troika (the European Union/United States/Russia) to submit its report to the UN secretary-general on December 10.

Q - Will the possibility of such a conference be on the agenda at the talks between the French and Russian presidents in Moscow tomorrow and the day after?

The French and Russian presidents will certainly be discussing the Kosovo question.

Q - Do you envision a continuation of talks after December 10?

We’re not looking at things from that perspective and we invite the parties concerned to take part in the discussions with a view to resolving this question within the timeframe that has been set./.

Embassy of France, October 8, 2007