The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 1, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Ukraine – Meeting between Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, and members of the government (Paris - March 1, 2016)

◢  Kosovo – Election of Hashim Thaci as the country's new president (February 29, 2016)

◢  Democratic Republic of Congo – Deadly attack near the town of Beni (February 28-29, 2016)

◢  United Nations – Training for UN peacekeepers

◢  Turkey

 
Ukraine – Meeting between Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, and members of the government (Paris - March 1, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, today received Olena Zerkal, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and Anton Yanchuk, Deputy Minister of Justice.

This meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of the implementation of the reforms related to the association agreement concluded with the European Union as well as our bilateral relations.

Harlem Désir reaffirmed the efforts expected with respect to independence and transparency and the commitments made in order to effectively combat corruption. He also underscored that a stable government committed to implementing reforms in Ukraine was a key factor in the country's continued democratic and economic development.



Kosovo – Election of Hashim Thaci as the country's new president (February 29, 2016)

France welcomes the election of Hashim Thaci as president of the Republic of Kosovo. We regret the chaos and violence that accompanied the process. France calls on all elected officials to hold talks within the framework of a calm parliamentary debate.

It is important to continue key reforms in the country, notably including the strengthening of the rule of law, the fight against crime and corruption as well as the continuation of dialogue with Serbia following the Brussels Agreement of April 19, 2013.

France stands alongside Kosovo as it continues on the path toward rapprochement with the EU.



Democratic Republic of Congo – Deadly attack near the town of Beni (February 28-29, 2016)

France condemns the massacre perpetrated during the night of February 28 to 29 near the town of Beni (North Kivu), which killed 13 people.

We extend our condolences to the victims' families. The perpetrators of this attack must be brought to justice.

This tragedy, which comes in the wake of a series of deadly attacks near Beni, underscores the urgent need for resolute and coordinated action by the Congolese army and MONUSCO to protect the civilian population and restore security in the Kivus.



United Nations – Training for UN peacekeepers

France is hosting 24 interns from French-speaking Africa as well as a team of UN trainers from February 28 to March 11, 2016. This training course, organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense and the International Organization of La Francophonie at the Ecole militaire de spécialisation de l'Outre-mer et de l'étranger (Specialized Military Center for French Overseas Departments and Territories and Foreign Countries), is aimed at ensuring that the national pre-deployment training programs for UN peacekeepers are conducted in accordance with UN standards.

This training course will make it possible to address operational issues (structure and functioning of peacekeeping operations) as well as ethical issues (international humanitarian law, rules of conduct in operations).

Within the framework of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development's cooperation arrangements, this initiative will help strengthen francophone training capabilities for UN peacekeepers.



Turkey

MEP Ana Gomes has launched an initiative in support of removing the PKK from the EU's list of terrorist organizations. Some French MEPs are included among the signatories. What's your response?

France's position is clear and constant: the PKK is a group that is included on the EU's list of terrorist organizations.

The reasons for including it on the list remain fully valid.

France condemns the resumption by this organization of armed activities on Turkish soil as of July 22.



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