Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, October 16, 2014)

China – Visit by Mr. Laurent Fabius (Beijing and Shanghai, October 18 to 19, 2014)
South Africa – Handing over of the sound recordings of the 1964 Rivonia Trial to the National Audiovisual Institute (October 15, 2014)
Innovation – Opening of the 5th edition of “France-Atlanta” (Atlanta, October 16, 2014)
Cyprus


China – Visit by Mr. Laurent Fabius (Beijing and Shanghai, October 18 to 19, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will visit China from October 18 to 19, 2014. He will meet with Mr. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce, as well as Mr. Yang Xiong, Mayor of Shanghai.

This is the minister’s eighth visit to China, a few months after President Hollande’s state visit in March 2014, reflecting the vitality of our relations in all areas.

On this occasion, Mr. Laurent Fabius will meet with Chinese private and institutional investors, as well as the French business community. He will lay the foundation stone of the new French international lycée in Beijing.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and the People's Republic of China with more than 800 events taking place in two countries, Mr. Laurent Fabius will participate in one of the festivities’ flagship events: the Horse-Dragon Show in Beijing. In Shanghai, he will also inaugurate the “Excellence and expertise of French-Chinese handicrafts” exhibition, and will attend the launch of a television program on France.


South Africa – Handing over of the sound recordings of the 1964 Rivonia Trial to the National Audiovisual Institute (October 15, 2014)

The South African authorities handed over the first sound recordings of the 1964 Rivonia Trial to the National Audiovisual Institute on October 15.

This trial led to the verdict condemning Nelson Mandela and the main African National Congress leaders to life imprisonment in 1964. The famous speech that Nelson Mandela delivered at the opening of his defense marked a turning point in the international community’s mobilization against racial oppression.

Threatened by obsolescence, these recordings will gain a new lease of life thanks to the conservation and digitization work that will be carried out by the National Audiovisual Institute, whose expertise is internationally recognized. In 2016, this precious memory will again be entrusted to the South African people and will be freely available to historians, researchers, journalists and citizens throughout the world.

This event confirms the dynamism of the cooperation between our two countries. It reflects our shared determination to keep the memory of the fight against apartheid alive and to enhance a unique artifact that has been included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.



Innovation – Opening of the 5th edition of “France-Atlanta” (Atlanta, October 16, 2014)

Organized by our Consulate General in Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology, “France-Atlanta” will include around 20 events, from October 16 to 30, highlighting innovation in the scientific, economic, cultural and humanitarian fields.

This innovation forum has been taking place since 2010 and attracts more than 3,500 participants.

The 5th edition will focus on digital technology and its uses, notably in the areas of education, visual arts, drones, and communication technology for development. Many participants – such as Orange Labs, the Centre national d'études spatiales, the National Center for Scientific Research, the French National Aeronautics and Space Research Agency – will represent French expertise.


Cyprus

Exploration activities are being carried out in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus by the ENI-KOGAS consortium. Turkey opposes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit its natural resources in its EEZ and is threatening to take unlawful action. What is France’s position regarding this issue?

Our position is clear with respect to Cyprus’s right to freely exploit its natural resources.

In the event of a settlement of the Cypriot issue which we are calling for in accordance with the parameters approved by the UN, income from the island’s natural resources would be equitably distributed.

While the adoption of a joint statement on February 11 created a certain momentum, the parties must refrain from any gesture likely to undermine the negotiation process.

Building a climate of trust is important in order to allow the swift resumption of the negotiations. In this respect, France reaffirms its support for Mr. Espen Barth Eide, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General.