Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, October 25, 2013)

United States - NSA
Mali


United States - NSA

What is the situation with respect to the spying affair?

President Hollande is attending the European Council in Brussels. Yesterday evening, he reaffirmed France’s position: these practices are unacceptable. The minister of foreign affairs discussed this issue on Tuesday morning with John Kerry. He has spoken about it on several occasions this week.

With respect to this issue, we want to work with the United States, both bilaterally and within a European framework. President Hollande indicated that a code of good conduct should be established between the Europeans and the Americans. He added that France and Germany would take the initiative to open up a discussion with the Americans in order to establish a common framework for cooperation and clarification by the end of the year, and that the Europeans who would like to join us would be welcome to do so.

Mali

Since MINUSMA was for the most part composed of former MISMA forces, i.e. 95% African, are there any counter-terrorism reporting mechanisms between us and the African Union or ECOWAS? I’m trying to understand the mechanism which is perhaps not a military one but a politico-military one.

The fight against terrorism in the Sahel involves intense cooperation, both with the United States, the African Union and the regional organization, i.e. the Economic Community of West African States chaired by Côte d'Ivoire. Africa’s security is primarily dependent on the Africans. Of course this effort extends to the UN – whose Security Council has adopted 3 resolutions on Mali. So efforts are being undertaken within an African framework, within the UN framework and of course at the bilateral level, since the Malian authorities have asked France to help them exercise their full sovereignty throughout the territory.

Will there be a new defense agreement between France and Mali?

Yes. When President Keita visited Paris in September, the two heads of state discussed the need to negotiate a defense agreement based on a transparent framework, the goal of which would be to strengthen African peacekeeping and security capabilities. This negotiation is going to start. Please refer to the Ministry of Defense.