Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, September 4, 2014)

 

Situation of Christians in Iraq - Joint statement by the minister of foreign affairs and international development and the minister of the interior (September 3, 2014)
Fight against the Ebola epidemic – Sending of French healthcare reinforcements to Guinea – Joint statement by the minister of foreign affairs and international development and the minister of social affairs, health and women’s rights
Fight against the Ebola epidemic – Meeting between Ms. Annick Girardin and the representatives of French organizations on the ground (September 4, 2014)
Africa – Terrorism – Meeting of the African Union (Nairobi, September 2, 2014)


Situation of Christians in Iraq - Joint statement by the minister of foreign affairs and international development and the minister of the interior (September 3, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Mr. Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, received representatives from the Catholic Church and Eastern Christian communities as well as several key figures in order to discuss the serious threat that the “Islamic State” poses to minorities in Iraq.

The two ministers recalled France’s efforts at the national level and in cooperation with its partners to protect minorities in Iraq, provide emergency relief to displaced persons and refugees and combat the “Islamic State.”

France, which has already sent 59 tons of humanitarian cargo to Erbil, will make further deliveries next week. It mobilized the EU on August 15 by successfully advocating for the establishment of a humanitarian airlift which already amounts to €57 million in aid. The needs remain considerable.

France will seek to strengthen the UN assistance being provided to the affected populations. Mr. Laurent Fabius also tasked Ms. Annick Girardin to further mobilize our local authorities within the framework of FACECO (Local Government External Action Fund).

France has also made a commitment to receive - where justified on the grounds of urgency - refugees who have links with our country. Several dozen of them were recently received. Others will arrive in France next week in order to fulfill our commitment.

Iraq: 1) Yesterday evening you announced that France would deliver further relief supplies next week to Erbil and that new refugees were also expected to arrive in France next week. How many tons do you plan to deliver next week, what will the delivery include and how many more people are expected to arrive in France? 2) Still with respect to Iraq, Kurds have complained that they haven’t received the “sophisticated weapons” promised by Laurent Fabius (he had stated that it would be “in a matter of hours”) on August 13. Have you delivered these weapons?

With respect to your first question regarding the scale of our humanitarian effort and the number of people received, we will provide useful clarifications at a later stage.

Regarding the second question, please refer to Mr. Laurent Fabius’s remarks yesterday evening: “ when we’re faced with people as dangerous as this, we have to respond. (…) As you know, we’ve provided the Iraqi Kurds with the weapons they needed.”

Fight against the Ebola epidemic – Sending of French healthcare reinforcements to Guinea – Joint statement by the minister of foreign affairs and international development and the minister of social affairs, health and women’s rights

In response to the appeal by the World Health Organization (WHO), Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights, are scaling up France’s assistance in the fight against the Ebola epidemic by sending a contingent of healthcare and medical experts to Guinea.

Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, will travel to Guinea in the next few days in order to express France’s commitment to the fight against the epidemic.

The French government is therefore mobilizing around 20 reserve personnel from the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Agency (epidemiologists, emergency physicians, infectious disease specialists, public health physicians) who will work on a rotating basis over the next 3 months in Guinea in order to provide support to the local authorities and health teams. Five French experts will leave for Conakry tomorrow. These volunteers will complement the budgetary contribution to the needs expressed by WHO, announced at the Council of Ministers on August 27.

Since the start of the epidemic, France has been strongly mobilized to combat the Ebola virus in West Africa, through its research institutes (notably INSERM and the Pasteur Institute, which identified the epidemic as soon as it appeared and are actively contributing to the diagnosis and monitoring of the disease) and its medical experts (who are supporting patient care, the control of the epidemic and the training of personnel, alongside local, French and international humanitarian organizations).


Laurent Fabius and Marisol Touraine pay tribute to the commitment of the French healthcare professionals, researchers, and relief workers who have been fighting every day for several months now to treat those infected by the virus and reverse the Ebola epidemic. The ministers remain particularly attentive to the working conditions of the NGOs on the ground.


Fight against the Ebola epidemic – Meeting between Ms. Annick Girardin and the representatives of French organizations on the ground (September 4, 2014)

Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, will travel to Guinea in the next few days to signal France’s commitment to the fight against the Ebola epidemic.

Before this visit, she will receive, this afternoon, civil society actors who are on the front line of the crisis, notably the president of Doctors without Borders, the head of the Pasteur Institute’s Urgent Response to Biological Threats Unit, and the International Director of the French Red Cross. This meeting will be aimed at reviewing the health situation in the affected countries and the working conditions.

It will also provide an opportunity to obtain the assessments of the actors working on the ground, to explain the measures announced by France and to review the coordination of international aid.


Africa – Terrorism – Meeting of the African Union (Nairobi, September 2, 2014)

France welcomes the meeting on September 2 in Nairobi that the African Union Peace and Security Council devoted to the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, under the chairmanship of Idriss Déby, President of the Republic of Chad, in which it participated.

This meeting made it possible to make progress on the global response of the African continent – at the level of the African Union as well as the regional organizations – to the challenge of terrorism, in coordination with the African states and the international community.