Daily Press Briefing

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

(Paris, December 13, 2007)

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


DJIBOUTI/FRANCE

President Ismail Omar Guelleh of the Republic of Djibouti ends his official visit to France today. At his meeting with President Sarkozy the soundness of our bilateral relationship was reaffirmed.

The president of Djibouti also had talks with Defense Minister Hervé Morin and Cooperation and Francophony Secretary Jean-Marie Bockel in which the fundamental aspects of our bilateral reactions were discussed: the strategic nature of Djibouti,, the importance of our military presence and the development of civil and military cooperation.

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner gave a dinner for the president of Djibouti last night. At their meeting they exchanged views on the conflicts in the Horn of Africa and the positive and stabilizing role that Djibouti plays in this troubled environment.

The economic dimension of our bilateral relations was at the center of the visit, as confirmed by the meeting the Djibouti delegation had at Medef International with the major French companies interested in the prospects for investment in Djibouti, and the agreement on the reciprocal promotion and protection of investment which is to be signed today and will guarantee legal security for our investments and businesses in Djibouti.

Overall the visit laid the bases for a renewed economic relationship in which French investments should contribute significantly to economic growth in Djibouti.

GEORGIA

France has noted with satisfaction that the Imedi independent television and radio station, closed on November 7, has resumed broadcasting.

We welcome this positive development regarding pluralism of the media in a sensitive pre-election context, and the role played by Adam Michnik at the request of the Georgian government on the proposal of the European Union and United States.

BELARUS

France condemns the crackdown on the demonstration organized on December 12 by Belarussian opposition parties. It again calls on the Belarussian authorities to respect basic rights, democratic principles and the rules of a state of law.

RUSSIA/IRAN

Q - What do you think of this Thursday’s announcement of a Russian-Iranian agreement on a timetable for completing construction of the nuclear power plant at Bushehr in Iran? What is the impact of this development on relations with Russia in the context of the draft resolution?

The nuclear power plant at Bushehr is a long-standing cooperation project between Russia and Iran which is taking place under IAEA supervision.

The completion of the power plant by Russia is authorized under Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747. It doesn’t change anything with respect to Iran’s obligation to suspend its sensitive nuclear activities in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the IAEA board of governors./.

Embassy of France, December 13, 2007