Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, May 5, 2015)


• Climate – Second informal consultation meeting in the run-up to COP21 (Paris, May 6-8, 2015)
• Belarus – Meeting between Mr. Harlem Désir and Ms. Elena Kupchina, Deputy Foreign Minister (Paris, May 5, 2015)
• Nepal – Update (May 5, 2015)
• Nigeria – Release of hostages
• Guinea – Demonstrations in Conakry (May 4, 2015)
• Freedom of the press - UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Prize awarded to Mazen Darwish (May 3, 2015)
• Germany
• Burundi
• Israel/ Palestinian Territories

Climate – Second informal consultation meeting in the run-up to COP21 (Paris, May 6-8, 2015)

The second informal consultation meeting in the run-up to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference - COP21, will be opened tomorrow by Mr. Laurent Fabius, COP21 President.

Following the informal meeting in March in Lima, Peru and France invited negotiators from around 50 representative countries to identify areas of convergence with a view to reaching an ambitious agreement at the end of the year in Paris to limit climate disruption to less than 2°C.

The next formal negotiating session with all countries party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Bonn from June 1 to 11.


Belarus – Meeting between Mr. Harlem Désir and Ms. Elena Kupchina, Deputy Foreign Minister (Paris, May 5, 2015)

Mr. Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will today receive Ms. Elena Kupchina, Deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to take stock of preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit scheduled to take place in Riga on May 21 and 22, as well as relations between the EU and Belarus.

Mr. Désir and Ms. Kupchina will discuss the process of resolving the crisis in Ukraine and the meeting, in the Belarus capital, of working groups set up by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Mr. Désir will also discuss the human rights situation in Belarus and in particular the situation of former presidential candidate Nikolai Statkevich, whose detention conditions were toughened on May 4.


Nepal – Update (May 5, 2015)

The human toll exacted by the earthquake in Nepal has further increased. The Nepalese authorities now indicate that the toll stands at 7,557 dead and 14,536 injured.

French rescue teams on the ground are continuing to do everything possible to find the 32 compatriots whose whereabouts remain unknown. At this stage, 7 people are reported as missing and 3 people have died.

France is mobilized to support the Nepalese people at this difficult time. A drinking water production unit, capable of producing 220,000 liters per day, has been set up in Katmandu by the sécurité civile [French emergency services] in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the compound of the French school. This will ensure supply to the local population and to our compatriots in the area.


Nigeria – Release of hostages

France welcomes the recent progress in the fight against Boko Haram in the Sambisa Forest in Nigeria. The release of several hundred women and children who until then had been held hostage by the terrorists is a great relief. The perpetrators of these acts must be brought to justice. Our thoughts are with those still being held captive; we hope they will be swiftly released.

We urge the Nigerian authorities to provide those who have been released with all the support they need. France, in partnership with Germany, is also contributing to the psycho-social support actions implemented by the International Migration Organization to help the victims of terrorism.

France is supporting Nigeria and its neighbors, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, which are still suffering greatly at the hands of Boko Haram, through logistical support and in the area of intelligence.


Guinea – Demonstrations in Conakry (May 4, 2015)

France deplores the violence that occurred in Conakry on May 4 during opposition protests not authorized by the authorities.

In the run-up to the next elections, we call on Guinea’s political actors to demonstrate restraint and engage in dialogue in accordance with the constitution.


Freedom of the press - UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Prize awarded to Mazen Darwish (May 3, 2015)

France welcomes the decision to award the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Prize to Syrian human rights activist, lawyer and journalist Mazen Darwish.

This award recognizes the commitment and courage of Mazen Darwish, who has been arbitrarily detained for more than three years for bringing to light the human rights violations perpetrated by the Syrian regime. France, which defends press freedom all around the world, calls for his immediate release.

This award was presented to his wife, Yara Bader, a journalist and Director of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom, by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.



Has the French-German initiative on bilateral cooperation in the area of intelligence/ spying with the United States finally come to a successful conclusion? This initiative was adopted in the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 10/25/2013. It specified that both countries would initiate bilateral talks with the United States on the issue of intelligence. Is that what actually happened with respect to France?

We are in close contact with the German and American authorities with respect to these issues.

With respect to our exchanges in the area of intelligence, we encourage you to ask the relevant ministries.



What is France’s response to the events in Burundi, where demonstrators have been shot dead? Does France share the condemnation expressed by John Kerry and the British authorities with respect to this issue?

France is closely monitoring the situation in Burundi. It calls for an end to all violence and for the holding of democratic elections. We fully support the ongoing initiatives of UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit, and of the high-level African Union mission.


Israel/ Palestinian Territories

What’s your response to accounts of the behavior of certain Israeli soldiers during the most recent operation in Gaza? There’s reference to actions that seem to clearly violate the rules of engagement and the fundamental rights of the civilian, local population.

A commission of inquiry was established by the UN Human Rights Council. It is responsible for shedding full light on compliance with international humanitarian law during the crisis in the summer of 2014 in Gaza.