Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, February 19, 2015)

Tourism – Meeting of the Tourism Promotion Council (Paris, February 18, 2015)
Ireland – Mr. Harlem Désir’s visit to Cork (February 19 to 20, 2015)
Iran – Death penalty – Situation of Saman Naseem
United States – Pennsylvania – Moratorium on the death penalty (February 13, 2015)
Burundi – Release of the director of African Public Radio (February 18, 2015)

Tourism – Meeting of the Tourism Promotion Council (Paris, February 18, 2015)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, chaired a meeting of the Tourism Promotion Council yesterday.

The meeting explored 10 measures aimed at improving the hospitality extended to tourists. The aim is to increase French people’s awareness of the importance of this sector that is key to growth and employment.

These measures are based on three objectives:

- to raise the profile of tourism in France in the French media abroad as well as on international television channels;

- to promote a genuine culture of hospitality among French people and tourism industry professionals;

- to raise awareness abroad of the quality of our hospitality.

The final report by the Tourism Promotion Council will be presented in spring 2015.


Ireland – Mr. Harlem Désir’s visit to Cork (February 19 to 20, 2015)

Mr. Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will visit Cork from February 19 to 20 in order to meet with his Irish counterpart, Mr. Dara Murphy. They will discuss key European issues and prospects for strengthening our bilateral cooperation, notably in the areas of energy and professional development. They will also meet with Members of the European Parliament from County Cork.

This visit will provide an opportunity to discuss the important role of cooperation between our two countries in the field of marine energy research.

Mr. Désir will also meet with representatives of the French community in County Cork.


Iran – Death penalty – Situation of Saman Naseem

France is concerned by reports that the young Kurdish man, Saman Naseem, is shortly to be executed.

Saman Naseem was a minor at the time of the alleged offence. His fundamental right to a fair trial has not been respected.

France calls on the Iranian authorities to comply with their international commitments in the field of human rights, notably the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran has freely subscribed.

France reaffirms its constant and firm opposition to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances.


United States – Pennsylvania – Moratorium on the death penalty (February 13, 2015)

France welcomes the decision by the Pennsylvania authorities to establish a moratorium on executions pending availability of the report by a commission set up to examine the effectiveness of capital punishment.

While support is growing in the United States for a moratorium on executions, we encourage all authorities concerned to initiate a debate on the abolition of the death penalty.

France is consistently opposed to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances; it urges all states that still carry out this inhuman punishment to establish a moratorium with a view toward definitive abolition.


Burundi – Release of the director of African Public Radio (February 18, 2015)

The release on bail of Robert Rugurika, Director of African Public Radio, who was arrested last month, is positive news.

We will continue to closely monitor the progress of the judicial proceedings against Mr. Rugurika and to monitor observance of the rights of the defense.

France reaffirms its attachment to the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press.