The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development
Spokesperson


Paris - August 19, 2015
In this issue:

◢  Syria – Statement by Laurent Fabius - Murder of Khaled al-Asaad, former Director of Antiquities in Palmyra

◢  COP21 – Africa - Joint statement by Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie

◢  South Sudan – Draft peace agreement (August 17, 2015)

◢  Nigeria – Attack in Yobe State (August 13)

◢  World Humanitarian Day (August 19)

 
Syria – Statement by Laurent Fabius - Murder of Khaled al-Asaad, former Director of Antiquities in Palmyra

I condemn the murder by Daesh of Khaled al-Asaad, former Director of Antiquities in Palmyra.

The 82-year-old scholar had been in charge of the ancient site for 50 years and had worked with many French archeological missions during his career.

I extend my condolences to Khaled al-Asaad's family.

This barbaric murder is the latest in a long list of crimes carried out over the last four years in Syria. The perpetrators of all these acts must be brought to justice.

The only way to put an end to the conflict in Syria is through a political solution based on the principles of the Geneva Communiqué.



COP21 – Africa - Joint statement by Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie

With almost 100 days to go until the start of COP21, we welcome the recent national contributions by three African countries: Benin, Djibouti and the Democratic Republic of Congo. France helped these three countries to prepare these contributions, in accordance with the commitment undertaken in Lima to provide support to those countries that need it to prepare for this important milestone in the run-up to the Paris conference.

The documents drawn up by Benin, Djibouti and the Democratic Republic of Congo bring the number of contributions that have now been submitted to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to 56. These three states propose controlling their greenhouse gas emissions, as well as carrying out climate adaptation actions.

We pay tribute to the dynamism of the African countries and their commitment to preparing for COP21.



South Sudan – Draft peace agreement (August 17, 2015)

France is concerned about the situation in South Sudan and the heavy toll exacted on the civilian populations.

It pays tribute to the work of all actors who are providing assistance to South Sudanese refugees and internally displaced persons, especially the UN Mission in South Sudan which is providing protection to almost 200,000 civilians inside its own bases.

France, alongside the African Union, supports the mediation efforts conducted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to find a political solution to the conflict. It would like all parties to sign and implement the peace agreement. It reaffirms the UN Security Council's determination to adopt sanctions against those who obstruct peace and calls for the swift implementation of an arms embargo.



Nigeria – Attack in Yobe State (August 13)

France is shocked by news of the attack that, according to available information, took the lives of more than 150 people on August 13 in Yobe State (northeastern Nigeria).

We offer our condolences to the victims' families. Those responsible must be brought to justice.

France assures Nigeria and the countries of the region of its solidarity in the fight against terrorism.



World Humanitarian Day (August 19)

On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, France pays tribute to the dedication of humanitarian workers who, in the most difficult conditions, help populations in need, often risking their lives to do so.

Twelve years after the attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad that left 22 dead, humanitarian workers continue to be the target of deliberate attacks and their work continues to be hampered. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that these acts do not remain unpunished, and to guarantee humanitarian workers the safest possible environment.

Today, the many crises around the world have forced more than 59 million people to leave their homes. Alongside the agencies of the United Nations, the European Union and humanitarian organizations, France is mobilized to help them, with the support of local authorities and businesses. It will continue to resolutely defend the security of humanitarian personnel, especially within international bodies.


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