Daily Press Briefing

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

(Paris, October 18, 2007)

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


MIDDLE EAST

I will read the joint statement we issued yesterday after the minister’s meeting with Tony Blair and Jonas Stoere.

“France will host a donors’ conference on the Palestinian Territories at the end of the year at the request of President Mahmoud Abbes.

“Mr. Tony Blair and Norway will co-chair the conference with France: Mr. Tony Blair in his capacity as special representative of the Quartet and Norway as president of the ad hoc liaison committee (AHLC).

“The conference will aim to mobilize donors, following on from the Annapolis conference, and to provide financial and political support to the Palestinian Authority by creating the capacities and the conditions for building a viable state.

“The conference will allow Mr. Salam Fayyad to present his program of reforms for the next three years in all areas of State operations, including security.

“The conference will also focus on ways of moving forward with regard to the daily lives of the Palestinians and the fundamental elements of a state.”

LEBANON

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Spanish and Italian counterparts agreed at their meeting in Rome on October 1 to go to Lebanon together on October 19 and 20.

During their stay, the ministers will pay a visit to UNIFIL, to which Italy, France and Spain and the top three contributors, and meet with Lebanese political leaders. Meetings are scheduled with Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and the Maronite Patriarch, Msg. Nasrallah Sfeir.

With this visit, the three ministers wish to show their commitment to stand by Lebanon and the attachment of our three countries to the election of a president with broad support within the timeframe scheduled and according to constitutional rules.

(…)

UNION OF THE COMOROS

France, which wishes to preserve the unity and integrity of the Union of the Comoros, fully supports the efforts of the African Union and South Africa to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis between the authorities of the Union of the Comoros and the island of Anjouan.

France welcomes the decisions taken by the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) on October 10. It will support the implementation of the restrictive measures agreed October 10 against the illegal authorities of Anjouan by the African Union’s PSC. France urges the illegal authorities in Anjouan to comply with the demands of the African Union and to organize the scheduled elections in Anjouan under the supervision of the African Union Security and Election Support Mission. It hopes, in the interest of all Comorians, that a peaceful solution is found as quickly as possible before the end of the 45-day period set by the African Union.

TOGO

I would like to call your attention to the statement of the presidency on behalf of the European Union on the legislative elections which were held in Togo on Sunday, October 14.

Pending the proclamation of the definitive results, France asks all the parties to show a sense of responsibility mirroring the civic sense shown by the Togolese people in the past few days.

PARIS MEETINGS ON PRIMATES AND THEIR HABITATS

The Paris Meetings on Primates and Their Habitats, organized by the Convention on Migratory Species, the Great Apes Survival Project Partnership (UNESCO/UNEP), the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, the Francophone Society of Primatology, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Sustainable Management, will be held from October 22 to 26 at the National Museum of Natural History. It will bring together over 300 participants who will discuss the progress that has been made since the Johannesburg Earth Summit in 2002 and the new projects for preserving the forest eco-systems of central Africa.

On October 26, at a ceremony attended by Noble peace laureate Wangari Maathai and the ministers concerned from the member states of the Partnership, Cooperation and Francophony Secretary Jean Marie-Bockel will hand over the task of facilitator for the Congo River Basin Partnership, held by France since 2005, to Erich Stather, German Secretary of State for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Ngagi agreement on the conservation of gorillas will also be signed at this time. The last day of the meeting will be open to the press.

(…)./.

Embassy of France, October 18, 2007