The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 21, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Spain / Bus crash (March 20, 2016) – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

◢  Turkey / Attack in Istanbul – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (March 19, 2016)

◢  Fine dining – "Goût de /Good France" event (March 21, 2016)

◢  European Union / Greece – Speech by Harlem Désir during a symposium at the French Senate (March 21, 2016)

◢  Russia – Plane crash (March 19, 2016)

◢  Eritrea / Djibouti – Prisoner release (March 18, 2016)

◢  Egypt – Attacks in the Sinai (March 19, 2016)

◢  Azerbaijan – Nowruz amnesty (March 17, 2016)

◢  North Korea

 
Spain / Bus crash (March 20, 2016) – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

I was extremely saddened to learn of the tragic toll exacted by yesterday's crash in Spain involving a bus transporting European students on the Erasmus program. A French student died in this accident.

At this painful time, I would like to express my deepest condolences to our compatriot's family and to the families of all the victims of this tragedy. France stands in solidarity with the authorities of all of the countries concerned.

Our embassy in Madrid and our Consulate General in Barcelona are in close contact with the local authorities. Together with the crisis support center in Paris, they are mobilized to provide the necessary support to our compatriot's family.



Turkey / Attack in Istanbul – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (March 19, 2016)

An attack was carried out this morning in central Istanbul.

I strongly condemn this heinous and cowardly attack which has left several people dead.

I extend my condolences to the victims' families and express France's solidarity with Turkey and the Turkish people in the fight against terrorism.



Fine dining – "Goût de /Good France" event (March 21, 2016)

The second edition of the "Goût de /Good France" event was launched today at the initiative of chef Alain Ducasse and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. 1700 restaurants and 150 embassies all over the world will showcase French cuisine.

By promoting the French art of living and regional products, the 2016 edition will notably promote the expertise of young chefs and the ties to their regions.

In Paris, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will visit three emblematic venues: a top-rated bistro together with Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris (Bistro Paradis), the restaurant Allard and an haute cuisine restaurant (Le Meurice), where he will thank the partners of this event.

A large number of dinners will be hosted on five continents with the support of our embassies. In London, for example, the embassy's chef, Gilles Quillot, gave a master class prior to the start of the event at the prison restaurant in Brixton (The Clink) which is taking part in the "Goût de /Good France" event. The restaurant, which is open to the public, is managed by an association that provides food preparation and service training to prisoners in order to help them to reintegrate into society.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/tourisme/evenements-et-actualites-lies-a-la-promotion-du-tourisme/article/gout-de-good-france-2016-1-diner-pour-celebrer-la-cuisine-francaise-sur-les-5.



European Union / Greece – Speech by Harlem Désir during a symposium at the French Senate (March 21, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will bring the symposium on "Debt, democracy, Europe: What does the future hold for Greece?" at the French Senate to a close at 6:00 pm today.

This symposium, organized by Luc Carvounas, Chair of the France-Greece Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group, will bring together political figures, economists, journalists and civil society actors from our two countries.

Harlem Désir will reaffirm France's active support in helping Greece to overcome the considerable economic and migration challenges it is facing, which, moreover, also affect the European Union as a whole.



Russia – Plane crash (March 19, 2016)

We were deeply saddened to learn of this morning's tragic crash of an airplane traveling from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don.

France offers its condolences to the families of the 62 victims.

We assure Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and all the countries affected by this tragedy of our solidarity at this difficult time.



Eritrea / Djibouti – Prisoner release (March 18, 2016)

France takes note of Eritrea's release of four Djiboutian prisoners of war, who were able to return home.

We applaud the role played by Qatar on this occasion, which made these releases possible.

We note that a certain number of Djiboutian soldiers are still being held prisoner, and we demand their release. Beyond that, France calls on Eritrea and Djibouti to resolve their dispute through negotiations, particularly with regard to the demarcation of their common border, which will help ease the situation in the Horn of Africa—a vulnerable area that is prey to terrorism.



Egypt – Attacks in the Sinai (March 19, 2016)

France condemns the attack that killed 15 police officers in the Sinai on March 19.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families.

France once again assures the people and government of Egypt of its solidarity in the fight against terrorism.



Azerbaijan – Nowruz amnesty (March 17, 2016)

France welcomes the amnesty granted to 148 individuals, including several journalists, political activists, and NGO members, for the Nowruz holiday.

We hope this gesture will be followed by other measures to release individuals who are being detained or kept under house arrest because of their political activities, and that it will encourage a general move toward strengthening the rule of law.



North Korea

What is your response to North Korea's latest short-range missile test?

France condemns these latest launches and urgently calls on North Korea to refrain from any gestures liable to further heighten tensions in the region and to undermine peace and international security.

We urge North Korea to fully and immediately implement Security Council resolutions, to unconditionally return to the path of dialogue, and to take concrete actions to fully, irreversibly, and verifiably dismantle its nuclear and ballistic program.


France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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