Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, November 12, 2013)

 

Statement issued by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Syrian National Coalition – Participation in the Geneva II conference.
Typhoon in the Philippines – Update as of November 12, 2013



Statement issued by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Syrian National Coalition – Participation in the Geneva II conference.

I welcome the Syrian National Coalition’s decision to take part in the Geneva II conference.

It is a major step toward the possibility of a political solution.

It shows the spirit of responsibility of the moderate opposition, which yesterday formed a government representing the diversity of the Syrian people.

As the Syrian National Coalition’s members have recalled, the people are urgently demanding that international efforts enable immediate humanitarian access to civilians, particularly in the towns under siege by the regime.  France fully supports this demand 

 

Typhoon in the Philippines – Update as of November 12, 2013

On November 9, Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed our wholehearted solidarity with the people of the Philippines who have been affected by Typhoon Yolanda/ Haiyan. According to the latest reports, this typhoon may have killed more than 10,000 people, affected hundreds of thousands of people and caused major damage.

In order to deal with this tragedy, France immediately decided to send humanitarian assistance to the area:

- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dispatched humanitarian supplies on a flight that arrived this morning in Cebu. The shipment is being handled by a team from the French embassy in Manila. The cargo, weighing around 10 tons, includes tents, tarpaulins, kitchen sets and jerry cans;

- two senior members of the sécurité civile [French emergency services], who left Paris yesterday, have been made available to our embassy in Manila. They have been tasked with coordinating the distribution of French humanitarian assistance and assessing the situation on the ground;

- in Paris, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Crisis Center is coordinating the voluntary contributions. Teams of voluntary firefighters have come forward (notably from the Pas-de-Calais and Rhône regions). A consultative meeting between the main associations and the French humanitarian NGOs is scheduled to take place this week;

- the European Commission also released €3 million for relief operations.

We are also mobilized to help our compatriots in the area:

- in order to help our compatriots and their families, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Crisis Center opened a crisis unit on Saturday. In close coordination with our embassy in Manila and the Philippine authorities they are drawing up a list of those unaccounted for as well as a list of our compatriots experiencing difficulties, in order to locate them. This task is being made more complicated by the destruction of communication channels and networks;

- in the Philippines, where approximately 2,300 of our compatriots are registered as French citizens abroad, a crisis unit was set up on Friday evening at the embassy. The embassy’s website is providing safety-related messages to the French community. At this stage, no French victims have been reported;

- in Vietnam, where approximately 7,000 of our compatriots are registered as French citizens abroad, the embassy’s website is providing safety-related messages to the French community. No French citizens are reported to be experiencing difficulties. Text alerts have been sent to 153 French citizens registered on the Ariane website.

- throughout the Indochinese peninsula and in China, we’re also continuing to pay particularly close attention to the cyclone situation.