Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, August 7, 2013)

Yemen
Sudan – Expulsion of 20 employees of the High Commissioner for Refugees
Iran


Yemen

Foreign minister Laurent Fabius reviewed the situation in Yemen in conjunction with our major partners. He took the following decisions:

1) The Embassy of France in Sana’a will remain closed through Sunday, August 11.

2) Measures are being taken to limit the presence of diplomatic staff to a bare minimum.

3) Advisories have been reissued recommending that French nationals in Yemen exercise heightened caution and limit their moments as much as possible.

New decisions will be taken as needed, depending on how the situation unfolds.

Sudan – Expulsion of 20 employees of the High Commissioner for Refugees

France condemns the expulsion of 20 employees of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) working in Darfur.

This unjustified decision comes at a time when the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur remains troubling, with 300,000 displaced persons in 2013. It hampers the UNHCR’s delivery of aid to two million displaced Darfuris, 1.2 million of whom are in camps.

France reiterates its commitment to the respect of humanitarian principles, notably unlimited access by humanitarian personnel to those who are vulnerable or in need. We urge the Sudanese authorities to promptly renew the work permits of HCR employees so that they may continue their work assisting the people of Darfur.

Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday that he was prepared, “seriously and without wasting time,” to enter negotiations with the P5+1. For her part, Ms. Ashton called for “meaningful talks” with Iran. Do you think talks can resume very soon, and on what basis?

As Laurent Fabius indicated yesterday during his meeting with Iran’s ambassador to France, we noted President Rouhani’s affirmation of a desire to engage in dialogue.

It is up to Iran to demonstrate its seriousness by providing specific answers to the proposals formulated in Almaty and by making concrete gestures to respond to international concerns about its nuclear program.

If Iran is indeed ready, France, with its partners in the E3+3 group, is also prepared to resume discussions.