Daily Press Briefing

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

(Paris, August 27, 2007)

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


GREECE

I will read the communiqué issued by Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner on Saturday, August 25:

“The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, called Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Saturday, August 25, to express his deep distress and France’s solidarity in the face of the fires that are currently raging in the Peloponnese which have caused many victims.

“Mr. Kouchner sent a message of condolence and support to his Greek colleague, to the victims' families and friends, and to the Greek government. In sending two Canadair planes to Greece today France wanted to actively stand with Greece at this painful time.

“Mr. Kouchner told Ms Bakoyannis that he would stay in close touch with her, in liaison with his colleagues in the French government, in order to examine Greece’s eventual needs in confronting this tragedy.”

INDIA

I will read a statement made by Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner:

“I was horrified to learn of the attack which struck civilians in Hyderabad and which we condemn in the strongest possible terms. I offer my condolences to the victims’ families and friends. I assure the Indian authorities of France’s solidarity and sympathy.”

DEATH OF RAYMOND BARRE

I will read the communiqué issued by Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner on Saturday, August 25:

“It is with sadness that I learned of the death of Raymond Barre who throughout his career at the European Commission and then as leader of the government of France embodied the demanding passion for Europe. I pay tribute today to a great European and offer my most sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.”

I will also read the communiqué European Affairs Secretary Jean-Pierre Jouyet issued Saturday, August 25:

“I hail the memory of Raymond Barre, a great European figure, whose commitment never failed in the service of Europeans, a great economist who could always explain lucidly and boldly to the French the indispensable reforms needed to adapt our country to a profoundly changing world.”

QUEBEC/DEATH OF ANDREE BOUCHER

I will read the communiqué issued by Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner on Saturday, August 25:

“It is with profound sorrow that I learned of the death of Andrée Boucher, Mayor of Quebec. I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to her husband and three children and her fellow citizens.

“A woman of conviction and commitment who had presided over the destiny of Quebec City since November 2005, Ms Boucher was a leading interlocutor for our country and a major partner in the upcoming preparations for ceremonies marking next year’s 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City.

“I would like to hail her memory and resolute action for the success of this great event and pay tribute to her dynamic work at the head of a great French-speaking city that is particularly dear to our heart.”

LUXEMBOURG/DEATH OF GASTON THORN

I will read a statement made by European Affairs Secretary Jean-Pierre Jouyet:

“It is with sadness that I learned of the death of Gaston Thorn, a great Luxembourg statesman and former president of the Europe Commission.

“I offer my sincere condolences to the citizens of Luxembourg, to Grand Duke Henri I of Luxembourg and to the Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy, Jean-Claude Juncker.

“Gaston Thorn, as president of the Commission, restored confidence in European integration. He encouraged the emergence of a Europe of innovation and knowledge with the first Framework Program for Research and Development. Gaston Thorn personifies the general interest of Europe. He took European ambition to the highest level and set an example for us to follow./.”

Embassy of France, August 27, 2007