Daily Press Briefing

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

(Paris, July 25, 2007)

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


FRANCE/SPAIN/PORTUGAL

Prime Minister François Fillon will make an official visit to Spain and Portugal on July 27.

In Madrid, which President Sarkozy visited on May 31, the prime minister will have a working luncheon with José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, President of the Government of Spain.

Mr. Fillon will be accompanied by Jean-Louis Borloo, Minister of State, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Planning, to discuss interconnections across the Pyrenees, and by European Affairs Secretary of State Jean-Pierre Jouyet in order to review the main community questions. The proposal for a Mediterranean Union will also be discussed.

Spain is one of our principal partners in the European Union, and we cooperate closely, especially on counter-terrorism.

Mr. Fillon will then go on to Lisbon where he will meet with Portuguese Prime Minster José Socrates. He will be accompanied on this leg by European Affairs Secretary of State Jean-Pierre Jouyet.

Portugal took over the presidency of the European Union on July 1. The ministers will discuss community issues primarily, especially the intergovernmental conference on institutional questions which opened Monday, together with the program for economic reforms, the Lisbon Strategy and the other priorities of the Portuguese presidency.

(…)

MANUEL NORIEGA

Q - Is France going to seek General Noriega’s extradition from the United States?

A French court sentenced Manuel Noriega in absentia to ten years in prison for engaging in financial operations between France and overseas involving money from drug trafficking.

A request for extradition was made to the American authorities in 2004 under the Franco-American extradition treaty.

Q - Have you had a favorable response?

The extradition request is being examined by American judicial officials.

RWANDA

Q - Is France intending to extradite to Rwanda the two suspects recently arrested or would they be sent directly to the international tribunal in Arusha?

One of the two suspects has already been handed over to the judicial authorities. We’ve not yet had an official request with regard to the other. It will be up to the judges to decide what is to be done./.

Embassy of France, July 25, 2007