Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, October 21, 2013)

Egypt
United States

Egypt

France condemns yesterday’s attack which killed four people in front of a Cairo church. It presents its sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of this heinous crime.

We are deeply concerned by the many acts of violence that, since August, have targeted Copts and led to the destruction of dozens of churches and Christian institutions.

Freedom of religion and belief is a fundamental right guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As the entire region goes through this delicate historical phase, France is closely monitoring the situation of Eastern Christians.

 

United States

The American ambassador was summoned to the Quai d’Orsay this morning because of the NSA’s massive interception of communications in France last December and January. Who received him and what can you tell us about that meeting?
Will Mr. Fabius raise this issue with his American counterpart during their meeting on Tuesday morning?

The American ambassador was received by the Quai d’Orsay’s chief of staff this morning. As the foreign minister indicated, we reminded him that such practices between partners are totally unacceptable and that he must assure us that they are no longer going on. We asked for a prompt and tangible response to our concerns.

As soon as the first revelations emerged, we proposed to our EU partners that our negotiations with the United States include a data-protection track. At our request, a US-EU working group was therefore established in July. It has already met twice. The European Council of October 24 and 25, which will largely be devoted to digital challenges, will deal with this issue at the highest level, among heads of state and government. The digital economy cannot function properly without an effective guarantee of personal data.

As for your second question, the meeting between Mr. Fabius and his American counterpart tomorrow will deal mainly with Syria and regional issues, but this topic will also be raised.