Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, August 1, 2013)

Mr. Laurent Fabius’s visit to Indonesia and Vietnam (August 1 to 5, 2013)

Mr. Laurent Fabius’s visit to Indonesia and Vietnam (August 1 to 5, 2013)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will today begin a visit to Indonesia (August 1 to 3) and Vietnam (August 3 to 5).

This visit reflects France’s determination to strengthen its relations with Southeast Asia. ASEAN, which has a population of almost 600 million, is France’s second largest trading partner in Asia. Mr. Fabius will be accompanied by French business leaders.

Mr. Fabius will meet with Indonesian Vice President Boediono, as well as with his counterpart, Mr. Marty Natalegawa, and will have working meetings with the finance and energy ministers. France and Indonesia have for two years now enjoyed a strategic partnership, which provides for regular consultations at the level of foreign ministers.

In Jakarta, Mr. Fabius will also go to the headquarters of ASEAN to meet with its secretary-general, Le Luong Minh, and to deliver a speech on France’s policy in the Asia-Pacific region.

In Hanoi, while the France-Vietnam Year 2013-2014 has just got under way, Mr. Fabius will meet Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, his counterpart, Mr. Pham Binh Minh, Communist Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.

Mr. Fabius also wanted to take advantage of this visit to Indonesia and Vietnam to meet with representatives of the business community and with civil society.



Q - What do you think about the Egyptian government’s decision to request that the Interior Ministry put an end to the Muslim Brotherhood’s sit-in and what could be the consequences of such an undertaking?

We remain extremely concerned by the situation in Egypt.

The Egyptians must make efforts to de-escalate the situation. The right to demonstrate peacefully must be respected. Gestures must be made on both sides in order to ease tensions and facilitate a compromise.

The transition must be continued by including all political forces and must result in the transfer of power to the democratically elected civilian authorities as swiftly as possible.

That’s the thrust of the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on July 22, 2013, calling for the release of the imprisoned political leaders, as well as their participation in the political transition.

In this respect, we welcome the involvement of Ms. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who visited Cairo from July 28 to 29, and with whom the minister spoke the day before yesterday.

The meetings that Ms. Ashton had with all parties concerned helped to reaffirm the EU’s readiness to support all efforts to ensure an inclusive transition in Egypt.