Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, July 11, 2014)

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Portuguese counterpart, Mr. Rui Machete (Paris, July 14, 2014)
Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and Alenka Bratusek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia (Paris, July 14, 2014)
Colombia – French-Colombian investment protection agreement (July 10, 2014)
Western Balkans – Mr. Harlem Désir’s participation in the informal summit of the heads of state and government of the Western Balkans (Dubrovnik, July 15, 2014)
European Union – Development – Visit to Florence by Annick Girardin (July 14 to 15, 2014)
Myanmar/ Burma – Sentencing of journalists (July 10, 2014)
Syria – Appointment of Mr. Staffan de Mistura as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy
African Union Mission in Somalia – Appointment of Mr. Maman Sambo Sidikou (July 10, 2014)
French education abroad – 2014 baccalauréat results (10 July 2014)
Iran

Ukraine

Israel/Palestinian Territories

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Portuguese counterpart, Mr. Rui Machete (Paris, July 14, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive Mr. Rui Machete, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, on Monday, July 14 in Paris.

This meeting will provide an opportunity to underscore the quality of the bilateral relations between France and Portugal and to signal our desire to strengthen them, notably in the economic and trade spheres.

It will also provide an opportunity to review the major international issues. European issues will also be discussed, notably including the priorities relating to the boosting of growth and support for employment as well as the economic and monetary union.


Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and Alenka Bratusek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia (Paris, July 14, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will meet with Alenka Bratusek, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia on July 14.

This meeting falls within the framework of the strategic partnership between our two countries and follows on from the top-level visits that took place in 2013.

The discussions will notably focus on the donors’ conference in support of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, jointly organized by the EU, France and Slovenia, in Brussels on July 16. They will also provide an opportunity to discuss the strengthening of our bilateral relations, notably from an economic perspective.


Colombia – French-Colombian investment protection agreement (July 10, 2014)

Fleur Pellerin welcomes the signing on July 10, 2014, in Bogota, of the French-Colombian investment protection agreement. This agreement between the French and Colombian governments is a major step forward in terms of strengthening economic and trade relations between our two countries and will allow Colombia to become a destination of choice for international investment by French companies.

The signing of this agreement will accelerate the growth of France’s foreign trade with Colombia, an especially dynamic Latin American country, which has significant potential for our businesses. French exports to Colombia tripled over the last 10 years, reaching €1.6 billion and our trade surplus doubled in 2013. Fleur Pellerin welcomes the fact that this agreement will make it possible to build on this momentum and encourages companies to enter the Colombian market under the best possible conditions.


Western Balkans – Mr. Harlem Désir’s participation in the informal summit of the heads of state and government of the Western Balkans (Dubrovnik, July 15, 2014)

Mr. Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will travel to Dubrovnik on July 15 for the second informal summit of the heads of state and government of the Western Balkans region. President Hollande participated in the summit as the guest of honor on July 25, 2013, in Brdo.

This event made it possible to relaunch the so-called “Brdo-Brioni” regional cooperation process aimed at strengthening cooperation and regional reconciliation and realizing the European perspective of these countries, affirmed in Zagreb in 2000 under French presidency of the EU Council.

On this occasion, Mr. Harlem Désir will reaffirm France’s commitment in support of this process, which will ensure the implementation of political and economic reforms.


European Union – Development – Visit to Florence by Annick Girardin (July 14 to 15, 2014)

Ms. Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, will visit Florence from July 14 to 15 to participate in the informal meeting of the European ministers responsible for development.

The ministers will discuss the post-2015 development agenda, the role of the private sector in development and nutrition and food security issues. This visit will also provide an opportunity for Ms. Girardin to highlight the mobilization of our European partners in support of the Central African Republic.

On the sidelines of this meeting, Ms. Annick Girardin will meet with the French community in Florence at the Institut français on the occasion of the national holiday.

 

Myanmar/ Burma – Sentencing of journalists (July 10, 2014)

France is concerned over the sentencing of five Burmese journalists to 10 years in prison as well as hard labor.

We reaffirm our attachment to the freedom of expression and the press, which constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society.

These sentences send out a negative signal, especially in the current context of reform and democratization in Burma.


Syria – Appointment of Mr. Staffan de Mistura as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy

France congratulates Mr. Staffan de Mistura on his appointment as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria, as well as Mr. Ramzy Ezzedine Ramzy on his appointment as Deputy Envoy.

We will spare no effort to help the UN, in collaboration with the Arab League, to relaunch a credible process to resolve the crisis, with the aim of ensuring that a real political transition can take place in Syria.


African Union Mission in Somalia – Appointment of Mr. Maman Sambo Sidikou (July 10, 2014)

France welcomes the appointment of Mr. Maman Sambo Sidikou as the new Representative of the African Union for Somalia and Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

While the terrorist threat remains in the Horn of Africa, France reaffirms its support for the efforts of the African Union and its troops within AMISOM to work toward re-establishing peace and security in Somalia, alongside the Somali government and the international community.


- French education abroad – 2014 baccalauréat results (10 July 2014)

Over 14,000 candidates (39% French and 61% foreign candidates) have passed the 2014 baccalauréat examination in French educational establishments abroad, i.e. a 95.9% success rate, with over 10,000 passes with merit or distinction (20.5% of which were distinctions).

Through these excellent results, the Agency for French Education Abroad is confirming the educational excellence and unique importance of the world’s 488 French educational establishments.

In this way, the Agency for French Education Abroad is contributing to raising the French education system’s international profile and to France’s attractiveness in the world.

 

- Iran

Q. – Have the Six’s differences in approach to Iran, which Laurent Fabius talked about at the beginning of the week, been resolved? 

What is M. Fabius’s schedule for the next few days? When is he going to Vienna? What are you expecting from the talks on Iran?

THE SPOKESMAN – The Six’s foreign ministers will meet in Vienna on 13 July to take stock of the negotiations.

The group is united on one objective: securing a credible, comprehensive and lasting agreement which provides all the necessary guarantees that Iran will not seek to acquire nuclear weapons.


- Ukraine

Q. – A ceasefire was reportedly agreed in a telephone conversation between Hollande, Merkel, Putin and Poroshenko. Do we have any details of the conditions of this ceasefire?

THE SPOKESMAN – The French President and Chancellor Merkel spoke jointly to President Putin yesterday morning.

The French Presidency reported this and said a four-way telephone conversation between the French President, Chancellor Merkel and Presidents Putin and Poroshenko should be organized soon.

 

- Israel/Palestinian Territories

Q. – During the Tour de France, François Hollande expressed his solidarity with Israel and spoke of “rockets that murder”. Does this mean he’s taken sides and supports Mr Netanyahu in the conflict?

THE SPOKESMAN – The President has spoken on the telephone in recent hours to both the Israeli Prime Minister and the President of the Palestinian Authority. During those two conversations, he expressed deep regret over the civilian casualties and emphasized the absolute necessity of ensuring civilians are protected.

The President expressed his worry about the situation in Gaza and his deep concern that the military operations under way have already caused many Palestinian casualties. The safety of all civilians must be ensured and the escalation must cease. Everything must be done to restore the truce established in 2012.

The current crisis provides a reminder of the urgent need to resume negotiations to establish fair and lasting peace in the Middle East. France is continuing to play an active role to help the Israelis and Palestinians reach this goal.