Daily Press Briefing

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

(Paris, November 29, 2007)

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


(…)

ATTACK IN SRI LANKA

France strongly condemns the attack which caused the death of 18 people yesterday. It expresses its complete solidarity with the Sri Lankan people and extends its sincerest condolences to the victims’ families and friends, and to the Sri Lankan authorities.

France reaffirms that only a political solution can bring a lasting resolution to the conflict which has been tearing Sri Lanka apart for over 30 years.

IRAN/NUCLEAR ISSUE

France will host a meeting of E3 + 3 (Germany, France, Britain, China, United States, Russia) political directors on Saturday, December 1. Also attending will be Mr. Solana, high representative for the CFSP and secretary-general of the Council of the European Union.

The aim of the meeting is to review the Iran nuclear issue and decide how to respond, in the Security Council, to the reports the six foreign ministers had requested from Mr. Solana and the IAEA director-general at their meeting in New York on September 28 on their discussions with Iran. Mr. ElBaradei’s report was handed in on November 15. Mr. Solana’s report is expected any day now.

PAKISTAN

We take note of President Musharraf’s decision to step down as head of the army as he had pledged.

We are watching the situation in the country closely and we call for end to the state of emergency.

COTE D’IVOIRE

Q - Do you have any reaction to the development of the post-conflict phase in Côte d’Ivoire marked on one hand by the agreement between Messrs Gbagbo and Soro to hold elections at the end of the first half of 2008 and on the other by the Ivorian president’s two-day visit to the rebel-held north?

We have taken careful note of the agreement between President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro providing for elections to be held at the end of the first half of 2008. It is a further stage in the implementation of the Ouagadougou Agreement which France supports like the rest of the international community.

Security Council resolution 1765, which was adopted on July 16, 2007, reiterated the importance that the international community attaches to holding free, fair and transparent elections in accordance with international standards.

The visit to the north of the country by President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Soro is an important gesture intended for Ivorians to take them on the path to lasting peace. This requires, however, the complete implementation of the post-conflict phase.

FRANCE/ALGERIA

Q - What do you think of the clarification--but apparently it wasn’t a formal denial--by the Algerian minister for war veterans after his public comments in the press about President Sarkozy?

Given the legitimate emotion stirred up by these comments, we are seeking to clarify the Algerian position./.

Embassy of France, November 29, 2007