Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, August 29, 2013)

Meeting between the minister and Mr. Koenders, Head of the Stabilization Mission in Mali
Meeting between the minister and Mr. Buyoya, High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel
DRC – Death of a MONUSCO soldier
Iraq – Attacks
Iran/ Nuclear issue – Publication of the IAEA report

Meeting between the minister and Mr. Koenders, Head of the Stabilization Mission in Mali

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today received Mr. Bert Koenders, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Mali, and Head of the Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

This meeting follows the presidential elections on July 28 and August 11, which were a democratic success. The support lent by MINUSMA and the French forces contributed to this success. The minister and Mr. Koenders took stock of the political progress in Mali, notably the process of dialogue and reconciliation which must be initiated in accordance with the Ouagadougou agreement.

Mr. Fabius and Mr. Koenders discussed the development challenges in Mali, which remain critically important to ensuring that the Malian population can swiftly benefit from concrete progress in terms of their living conditions.

Lastly, in the area of security, the minister and the head of MINUSMA discussed the role of the Blue Helmets currently deployed to ensure the stabilization of Mali, following the French intervention at the beginning of the year.

 

Meeting between the minister and Mr. Buyoya, High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will today receive Mr. Pierre Buyoya, High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel.

This meeting comes after the presidential elections in Mali, the success of which was recognized by the international community. This meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the timetable for the upcoming legislative elections, as well as the anticipated resumption of the process of dialogue and reconciliation, in accordance with the provisions of the Ouagadougou agreement. The minister and Mr. Buyoya will also discuss the role of the African Union with respect to security in the Sahel and cooperation between the states in the region.

The security situation in the Central African Republic, in particular the prospects of strengthening African and international efforts to promote the stabilization of the CAR, will be central to the discussions between the minister and Mr. Buyoya.

The Elysée Summit on peace and security in Africa, due to take place at the end of the year in Paris, will provide an opportunity to discuss all of these problems in the presence of the African leaders.

 

DRC – Death of a MONUSCO soldier

France deplores the death of a Tanzanian Blue Helmet belonging to MONUSCO's intervention brigade on August 28 in the area of Goma while carrying out his duties.

We extend our condolences to the victim’s family as well as to the Tanzanian authorities.
We commend the commitment of MONUSCO’s forces to promoting peace under especially difficult conditions, notably since the resumption of fighting in North Kivu. France reaffirms its full support for MONUSCO in carrying out its mandate to protect the civilian populations and re-establish security in the eastern part of the DRC.

France again condemns, in the strongest terms, the actions of the M23 rebel movement which are fostering a climate of violence in North Kivu and inflicting suffering on the civilian populations in the region. We call for the disarming and disbanding of the M23 and all armed groups operating in the DRC, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2076 and 2098.

We also call on all countries in the region to demonstrate restraint and a sense of responsibility in order to avoid any military escalation, the consequences of which would be extremely serious. We urge them to implement in good faith the commitments made under the Addis Ababa framework agreement. The hopes raised by the recent progress should not be dashed.

In these tragic circumstances, the Security Council must reaffirm its attachment to the security and stability of the DRC and express its full support for Mr. Kohler, Special Representative of the United Nations and Head of MONUSCO, in fulfilling his mandate.

 

Iraq – Attacks

France strongly condemns the wave of attacks that took place in Iraq yesterday.

We extend our condolences to the victims’ families and to the Iraqi people.

The upsurge in violence directed against religious communities is especially troubling.

We reaffirm our support for the Iraqi authorities in their fight against terrorism and call on them to engage in fully inclusive institutional reforms. All religious and ethnic communities must be allowed to find their place within Iraq.

 

Iran/ Nuclear issue – Publication of the IAEA report

The report issued by the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding the Iranian nuclear program shows that there has been no concrete change in Iran’s attitude with respect to complying with its international obligations. France deplores this.

The IAEA report shows that Iran has continued to pursue its uranium enrichment activities, notably the expansion of its capacities as a result of research and development, and its heavy water-related activities, given the progress toward the construction of the heavy water reactor in Arak. The resolutions of the Security Council and the Board of Governors require the suspension of all these activities.

These texts also require Iran’s full cooperation with the IAEA in order to shed full light on the possible military dimension of its nuclear program. This still hasn’t been possible despite the Agency’s repeated efforts. We support the parameters set out by the director general aimed at agreeing with Iran on a common approach to addressing these issues. They are essential in order to allow the IAEA to effectively carry out its verification mission.

As President Hollande underscored in his speech at the Ambassadors’ Conference, there’s a pressing need to ensure that negotiations swiftly lead to concrete gestures by Iran that are verifiable and can be verified on the ground. France, together with its partners in the E3+3 group, stands ready.