Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

(Paris, October 15, 2007)

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


Following the severe flooding in Tunis and the surrounding areas, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner phoned his Tunisian counterpart, Abdelwahab Abdallah, to express his condolences to the victims’ families and friends, and his solidarity with the Tunisian people.


We have learned that Emaddedin Baghi was imprisoned October 14 after his reprieve for a sentence imposed in 2003 was suspended.

Earlier, on August 8, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights made a statement about the situation of Mr. Baghi who has been honored by the French authorities for his positions supporting the abolition of the death penalty, receiving the 2005 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic. Mr. Baghi was recently sentenced again for acting against national security and for disseminating information in favor of opponents of the regime. He has appealed the decision.

France recalls its constant position in favor of the abolition of the death penalty and also respect for freedom of expression.



Q - Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos announced in Beirut that the visit to Beirut with his French and Spanish counterparts would take place on October 19 and 20. Can you confirm this? And will Mr. Kouchner travel separately or with Mr. Moratinos and Mr. d’Alema from Lisbon?

I confirm that the three ministers will be in Beirut on October 19 and 20, and I’ll let you know about the travel arrangements as soon as possible.


Q - There is fighting in northern Iraq between separatist Kurds and the Turkish army. What’s your position on this?

The reports you’re referring to are, I believe, not correct. I will repeat in any case France’s constant position supporting Iraq’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Embassy of France, October 15, 2007