The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 22, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Attacks in Belgium – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Didier Reynders, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs

◢  Mali – Attack against the European Union's training and advisory mission for the Malian Armed Forces - EUTM Mali (March 21, 2016)

◢  International Criminal Court – Verdict delivered in the case of Jean-Pierre Bemba (March 21, 2016)

◢  Democratic Republic of Congo – Presidential elections

◢  World Water Day (March 22, 2016)

 
Attacks in Belgium – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Didier Reynders, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs

After the horrific attacks which struck Belgium this morning, I telephoned my Belgian counterpart, Didier Reynders, to tell him how appalled France is.

This conversation allowed us to take stock of the tragic situation in Brussels, which has resulted in many people being killed and injured. At this tragic time, our thoughts go first to these casualties, their families and close friends.

I told Belgium of France's solidarity and reaffirmed that we stand united with our Belgian friends in this terrible ordeal.

My Belgian colleague and I stressed the urgency of coordinating our action even further when it comes to fighting terrorism.



Mali – Attack against the European Union's training and advisory mission for the Malian Armed Forces - EUTM Mali (March 21, 2016)

France condemns the attack targeted against the European Union Training Mission in Mali - EUTM Mali. We pay tribute to the immediate and effective response by the mission's personnel.

We reaffirm our full support for the EU and for the states that are contributing, together with France, to this mission which is key to rebuilding the Malian army and which must be allowed to continue its work.

France is determined, together with the whole of the European Union and the international community, to continue its efforts to promote peace in Mali.



International Criminal Court – Verdict delivered in the case of Jean-Pierre Bemba (March 21, 2016)

France takes note of the verdict delivered yesterday by the International Criminal Court in the case of former leader of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo Jean-Pierre Bemba, convicted of three counts of war crimes and two counts of crimes against humanity, relating to the murder, looting and rape committed by his troops in the Central African Republic between October 2002 and March 2003 in support of CAR President Ange-Felix Patassé's regime. Decisions regarding sentencing and compensation for victims will be issued later.

This is the first decision by the ICC establishing the criminal responsibility of military commanders for crimes committed by their troops in a third country.

France reaffirms its commitment to the fight against impunity everywhere and its support for the International Criminal Court. It underscores the importance for states to cooperate with the ICC.



Democratic Republic of Congo – Presidential elections

The Congolese people exercised their right to vote on March 20 during the first round of the presidential elections.

The elections took place in a worrying context, notably as a result of the communications blackout.

France, which is exercising vigilance, reaffirms its attachment to the transparency and fairness of all stages of the election process.



World Water Day (March 22, 2016)

Today on World Water Day, France reaffirms that the water and sanitation sector is key to meeting the challenge of climate change adaptation and implementing the Paris Agreement.

France and the French actors in the water sector supported the adoption of a specific sustainable development goal in order to facilitate access to clean water and sanitation. France reaffirms its commitment to enforcing the right to water and sanitation as well as to implementing the Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation in the basins of rivers, lakes and aquifers, adopted during the Paris Climate Conference. We support the universal application of the 1992 Helsinki Convention and the 1997 New York Convention on international watercourses.

Water is also a key focus of our solidarity policy. Our country provided almost €730 million in funding for projects relating to this issue in 2014, mainly through the French Development Agency as well as through decentralized cooperation initiatives carried out by local authorities and water supply agencies.


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