Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, February 22, 2013

 

United States (Texas) – Execution of Carl Henry Blue
India – Attacks in Hyderabad on February 21, 2013
Iran – IAEA report of February 21, 2013
Visit to Paris by Mr. José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) (February 21 to 22, 2013)
WTO – Process of selecting the future director-general
Syria
– Attack (February 21, 2013)



United States (Texas) – Execution of Carl Henry Blue

France condemns the execution of Carl Blue in the state of Texas, in the United States, on February 21. With 15 prisoners executed in 2012 and 493 executions since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, Texas is responsible for more than a third of executions in the United States.

France reaffirms its constant opposition to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances. This is the thrust of the campaign for the universal abolition of the death penalty, launched on October 9, 2012. Our diplomatic network is fully committed to this priority, wherever the death penalty continues to be applied. France urges the Texas authorities to put an end to the executions, to observe a moratorium and to initiate a debate on the abolition of the death penalty.

 

India – Attacks in Hyderabad on February 21, 2013

France utterly condemns the attacks that took place in Hyderabad on February 21, 2013, which indiscriminately targeted innocent victims, leaving at least 14 people dead and more than a hundred injured. Our Consul General in Bangalore immediately visited the area in order to express our solidarity with India and to ensure the safety of the French community.

France would like to express its condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous crime. As India and France just reaffirmed during President Hollande’s recent state visit, no compromise is possible with terrorists. Our two countries are determined to combat this threat together.

 

Iran – IAEA report of February 21, 2013

The information contained in the IAEA Director-General’s most recent report is very troubling and represents a further step in the wrong direction by Iran.

The Agency notably provides evidence of the installation for the first time by Iran of new generation centrifuges, which constitutes a further violation by Iran of its international obligations. The report also shows that Iran is refusing to engage in any substantive dialogue with the IAEA in order to respond to the Agency’s questions regarding the possible military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear program.

While we are waiting for Iran to make concrete gestures to demonstrate its willingness to adopt an approach based on cooperation and compliance with its obligations, it is therefore continuing to step up its sensitive activities, in violation of the resolutions of the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors. 

The IAEA Board of Governors, which is due to meet in a few days, must make a firm statement regarding this behavior. The path of dialogue remains open but Iran must choose to fully cooperate with the international community.

 

Visit to Paris by Mr. José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) (February 21 to 22, 2013)

Mr. José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) will be received today by the minister of foreign affairs' cabinet director during his visit to Paris from February 21 to 22.

Since 1972, France has enjoyed the status of permanent observer to the OAS, the only regional organization that brings together all states of the Americas. The discussions will provide an opportunity to confirm France’s determination to deepen its political relations and strengthen its cooperation with all countries of the region. They will also provide an opportunity to discuss current issues in the region and to reaffirm France’s commitment to the OAS.

 

WTO – Process of selecting the future director-general

As part of the process of selecting the future director-general of the World Trade Organization, Mr. Pierre Sellal, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, received, on February 21, Ms. Mari Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, a candidate to replace Mr. Pascal Lamy.

Mr. Sellal had received on February 5, Brazil’s ambassador to the WTO, Mr. Roberto Azevedo, who is also a candidate for this post.

Since the nomination period closed on December 31, 9 candidates have put themselves forward to replace Mr. Lamy, who served two consecutive terms at the head of the organization. The member states of the WTO must choose the new director-general by May 31, since Mr. Lamy’s term ends on August 31, 2013.

 

Syria – Attack (February 21, 2013)

France utterly condemns the series of attacks in Damascus which killed at least 83 people and injured hundreds more on February 21. We express our solidarity with the Syrian people. We noted that the Syrian National Coalition immediately condemned these attacks, which amount to war crimes.

France again expresses its concern at the increased violence in Syria. The attacks against the civilian populations are intolerable and must stop.

This only serves to confirm the urgency of the situation and the need to find a solution to the Syrian crisis that will pave the way for a political transition in accordance with the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.

We want to ensure that these crimes do not go unpunished and that those responsible are held accountable before international criminal courts.