Statements made by the Minisry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, January 10, 2013)


Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Indian counterpart, Mr. Salman Khurshid (January 10, 2013)
Saudi Arabia – Execution of Rizana Nafeek (January 9, 2013)

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Indian counterpart, Mr. Salman Khurshid (January 10, 2013)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will today receive Mr. Salman Khurshid, India’s Minister of External Affairs.

This is the first visit to France by an Indian minister of external affairs since 2001. Mr. Khurshid will be received by President Hollande on January 11.

This dialogue falls within the framework of the strategic partnership between our two countries, to which President Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reaffirmed their attachment during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Los Cabos on June 20, 2012.

The French-Indian strategic partnership, which is remarkably close, encompasses many areas of cooperation: defense, civilian nuclear energy, academic, scientific and space cooperation, the fight against terrorism, the development of economic and commercial exchanges, as well as an ever increasing number of human and cultural exchanges.

During their meeting, Mr. Fabius and Mr. Khurshid will also go over the situation in South Asia, will notably have a discussion on Afghanistan, and will discuss the major international issues, notably Syria, Iran, Libya and the situation in the Sahel.

The two ministers will hold a joint press briefing at 2:30 pm.


Saudi Arabia – Execution of Rizana Nafeek (January 9, 2013)

France condemns the beheading on January 9 in Saudi Arabia of Rizana Nafeek, a young Sri Lankan citizen, who was a minor when the crime occurred.

France is campaigning for the universal abolition of the death penalty and is taking many initiatives in this area.

As Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed, France expresses its firm and constant opposition to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances. It urges Saudi Arabia to put an end to the executions and to establish a moratorium.



What are France’s specific interests at the EU-CELAC Summit?

Will France present any initiatives at the summit?

What is the purpose of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s visit to Argentina?

The EU-CELAC Summit in Santiago (January 26 to 27, 2013) will be the 7th summit between the EU and the Latin America and Caribbean region. France will be represented at the summit by the prime minister, who will be accompanied by a delegation that will include several ministers.

France, which plans to fully reengage with Latin America and the Caribbean and strengthen its ties of cooperation and friendship with these countries, attaches the utmost importance to this meeting. More details will be provided ahead of the visit on the summit’s goals, which aim to allow us to strengthen our partnerships with respect to investment.

Furthermore, the prime minister will take the opportunity to conduct a bilateral visit to Chile and will meet with President Sebastian Pinera. On the sidelines of the summit, he will also have bilateral meetings with several Latin American heads of state.

Regarding your third question, the prime minister will visit Argentina on January 25, 2013. He will meet President Cristina Kirchner in order to reaffirm France’s attachment to its relations with this key regional player – a G20 member -, which has just acceded to the UN Security Council for the 2013-2014 session. France would also like to strengthen its cooperation with Argentina, notably in the area of research, and strengthen its economic interests in this country.