Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

(Paris, August 17, 2007)

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


Q - The United States is thinking about adding the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to its blacklist of terrorist organizations. Is France in favor of doing the same on the EU list? Do you think such a measure would be useful or counterproductive at a time when the Security Council is to introduce new sanctions against Teheran on the nuclear issue?

We’ve seen the press reports that are circulating with respect to the U.S.’s possible intention to include the Revolutionary Guards on the American list of terrorist organizations.

We haven’t been informed of such a move. And to our knowledge, no such decision has been taken by the American authorities.

Your question is therefore premature.

As for the Iranian nuclear issue, we are dedicated to maintaining the unity of the international community.

Let me remind you, furthermore, that a certain number of measures and provisions in SCR 1747 are directed at the Revolutionary Guard. I refer you to the annex to that resolution. The Pasdaran staff, for example, is designated and there are measures that freeze its assets and impose travel restrictions. Military enterprises linked to the Pasdaran are also listed in the resolution.

We are considering additional measures in the framework of a new Security Council resolution against members and backers of the Iran regime who refuse to comply with the international community’s demands.


Q - Yesterday the UN secretary-general proposed to the Security Council a multidisciplinary international presence in Chad and the northern Central African Republic. Do you have any comment? Can you give us some clarification about France’s participation? Does France prefer to establish this presence before deploying hybrid forces in Darfur?

France welcomed with satisfaction the UN secretary-general’s report of August 10, in which he proposed to establish a multi-dimensional UN mission to protect refugees, displaced persons and endangered civilian populations in eastern Chad and the northeastern Central African Republic.

As you know, France has constantly drawn attention to the risks of the Darfur crisis spreading to Chad and the Central African Republic and the need to help provide greater security for refugee and displaced-person camps. The adoption of SCR 1769 on August 1 authorizing the deployment of an AU/UN force in Darfur falls within in this regional context.

We support the project of deploying a multidimensional UN mission in eastern Chad and the northeastern CAR and hope the Security Council will make a decision on this deployment as swiftly as possible The mission should include a civilian and police component to guarantee the security of refugee camps and displaced person sites, and a military component in charge of securing the area.

The EU has expressed its willingness to take charge of the military component of this mission. Operational planning has begun, and we are following the progress of consultations between the UN, our European partners and the governments of Chad and the CAR.

We intend to make a significant contribution to this mission on a par with our political commitment and our presence on the ground. We are also considering the contribution we could make to the civilian component.


Q - The foreign minister said he’s determined to pursue his efforts alongside Spain and Switzerland, with the backing of the EU. But the family of the French-Colombian called on France yesterday to go through the U.S., who they believe is the only one able to convince President Uribe to accept a humanitarian agreement that includes the FARC conditions. What’s your answer to this very concrete request?

You are aware of yesterday’s statements by the President and the foreign minister.

France is determined to pursue its efforts alongside Spain and Switzerland, with the backing of the EU.

We welcome the assistance of all our partners concerned by the release of all hostages, including our compatriot Ingrid Betancourt.

In this regard, as I reminded you yesterday, we are working with the U.S. in the context of the G8 declaration in Heiligendamm on this subject.


Q - France offered Peru humanitarian aid after the earthquake; was it accepted? What does it consist of? Are you aware of any French tourists in difficulty in the earthquake zone?

I want to remind you of the President’s message to President Alan Garcia and the minister’s statement.

In this emergency situation, France is prepared to provide aid to supplement the efforts of Peru and the international community, notably to meet crucial drinking water needs with the help of the company Veolia. We are also ready to send medicines. We are closely following developments to respond to specific requests when the time comes.

As for French tourists, our Embassy is mobilized and in close communication with travel operators to provide aid and assistance in the event of problems.


Q - Yesterday, Agim Ceku, the Kosovar Prime Minister, rejected the idea of partitioning Kosovo, which the Troika in charge of reviving discussions doesn’t want to rule out, and called it a “betrayal of the multiethnic principles” the international community had fought so hard for. Does France think the idea of partition should be ruled out now?

With the support of the UN secretary-general and the backing of the contact group, the Troika, consisting of representatives from the United States, the Russian Federation and the EU, visited Belgrade and Pristina on August 10-11 so that the two parties could engage in an intense resumption of the dialogue, in a spirit of openness and compromise, in order to find a lasting solution to the question of Kosovo’s status.

This is the spirit informing France’s actions./.

Embassy of France, August 17, 2007