Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, March 13, 2014)

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Cuban counterpart (Paris, March 14, 2014)
Ukraine – Freedom of the press in Crimea
Gaza – Violence

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Cuban counterpart (Paris, March 14, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will tomorrow receive his Cuban counterpart, Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla. This is the first bilateral visit to our country by a Cuban foreign affairs minister since 2005.

This meeting is part of efforts to revitalize relations between the EU and Cuba. Mr. Fabius and Mr. Rodríguez will notably discuss the upcoming negotiations between the EU and Cuba on a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement.

The two ministers will also discuss the development of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues. They will explore the potential for cooperation in economic, scientific and cultural areas. This meeting will provide an opportunity for us to express our interest in the changes under way in Cuba.

 

Ukraine – Freedom of the press in Crimea

Several serious incidents targeted against journalists, including French journalists, have taken place in Crimea in recent days. Journalists have been subjected to pressure, intimidation and violence.

Most of the incidents were instigated by the militia groups present in the territory.

France condemns these obstructions to the work of journalists and calls for respect for the freedom of information. The freedom of expression and the freedom of the press in particular form the basis of all democracy and must be universally respected.    

We urge the French journalists who are currently in Crimea or who are planning to go there to exercise caution and to keep up to date with the “Travel Advice” section of the France Diplomatie website which is updated in real time.

 

Gaza – Violence

France condemns the attacks against Israeli civilian populations carried out yesterday by the Islamic Jihad movement from Gaza. It reaffirms its rejection of all forms of terrorism and its unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.

We call for restraint. An escalation of violence must be avoided so that the truce agreed upon in 2012 can be fully and swiftly re-established.