The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 8, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Tunisia – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Tunisian counterpart (March 7, 2016)

◢  Egypt – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault (March 9-10, 2016)

◢  International Women’s Day (March 8, 2016)

◢  Greece / Refugees – Humanitarian assistance (March 8, 2016)

◢  Air disaster – Anniversary of the disappearance of MH 370 (March 8, 2016)

◢  Culture / Austria – Death of orchestra conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt (March 8, 2016)

 
Tunisia – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Tunisian counterpart (March 7, 2016)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault called his Tunisian counterpart, Khemaies Jhinaoui, on March 7, to express France's support following yesterday's attack in Ben Gardane by terrorists claiming to belong to Daesh.

He strongly condemned the attack and reaffirmed France's complete solidarity with Tunisia in the face of terrorism.

Mr. Ayrault expressed his intention to visit Tunis very soon to attend the ceremony in honor of the victims of the attack on the Bardo Museum on March 18, 2015.



Egypt – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault (March 9-10, 2016)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault will be in Egypt on March 9 and 10 for a meeting with his counterparts from the Arab League's select committee on the peace process.

Accompanied by his special envoy, Pierre Vimont, he will discuss the French proposal to hold an international conference to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

He will also meet with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. He will discuss every aspect of our bilateral cooperation with them, along with regional issues on which France and Egypt maintain a close dialogue.

Mr. Ayrault will also meet with civil society representatives.



International Women’s Day (March 8, 2016)

On the occasion of International Women's Day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development reaffirms its commitment to defending women's rights.

Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will give a speech today on parity in diplomacy at an event for Ministry personnel.

France champion's women's rights and autonomy and opposes all forms of violence against women. Among other things, it offers its support to female Syrian refugees, to all those involved in fighting gender violence in West African schools, and to those who assist victims of sexual violence in Democratic Republic of Congo. It also seeks to promote the role of women in the fight against climate disruption.

For more information on the Ministry's efforts and to watch the video made for this occasion, visit http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/evenements-et-actualites-du-ministere/actualites-du-ministere-des-affaires-etrangeres-et-du-developpement/article/les-engagements-de-la-france-en-faveur-de-l-egalite-femmes-hommes-8-mars-2016.



Greece / Refugees – Humanitarian assistance (March 8, 2016)

As President Hollande announced in Brussels, France has decided to respond to Greece's request for help in dealing with the influx of refugees.

France will help set up reception and registration centers, providing prefabricated housing elements, tents, bathroom facilities, generators, pumps, storage tanks, water distribution equipment, and containers.

These humanitarian relief supplies will be shipped to Athens on March 9, with the assistance of the French Civil Security Force and the Crisis and Support Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.



Air disaster – Anniversary of the disappearance of MH 370 (March 8, 2016)

Two years after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which took the lives of 239 passengers and crew members, our thoughts go out to the families of the victims of this tragedy, and particularly to the loved ones of our four deceased compatriots.

President Hollande met with them on September 4 to express the nation's solidarity, and again at the Quai d'Orsay and the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses [the French government's crash investigation body]. Legal proceedings are under way.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the families of the victims, keeping them informed of conversations with Malaysian officials and those of the other countries concerned.



Culture / Austria – Death of orchestra conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt (March 8, 2016)

France pays tribute to the memory of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who passed away on March 5, and shares in the grief of his loved ones.

This great cultural figure, who was not only a conductor but also a cellist, gambist, and musicologist, enthusiastically revolutionized the interpretation of Baroque music. Nikolaus Harnoncourt was a pioneer who became indispensable through his wide-ranging repertoire.

His work energized such French ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, Les Talens Lyriques and Les Musiciens du Louvre, as well as other, newer ensembles that have garnered international recognition.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt was promoted to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor in March 2012.


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