The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - March 23, 2016
In this issue:

◢  South Korea – Visit by the minister of foreign affairs and international development (March 23-25, 2016)

◢  Health – André Vallini’s participation in the High-Level Conference on Global Health Security in Lyon (March 23, 2016)

◢  Belgium – Attacks in Brussels

◢  Russia / Ukraine – Sentencing of Nadiya Savchenko by the Russian courts (March 22, 2016)

◢  Cyprus – Josef Koudelka exhibition (Limassol – March 22, 2016)

◢  Burundi – Continued violence (March 23, 2016)

 
South Korea – Visit by the minister of foreign affairs and international development (March 23-25, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, is visiting South Korea from March 23 to 25 in order to launch the Year of France in Korea. His visit is taking place as we celebrate the 130th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries this year.

Jean-Marc Ayrault will attend the production by the choreographer José Montalvo performed by the National Dance Company of Korea on March 23 in Seoul, marking the official launch of the Year of France in Korea. He will lead, together with his counterpart, Yun Byung-se, the first session of the French-Korean strategic dialogue on March 24.

The Year of France in Korea, which will focus on creativity and innovation, will run from March to December 2016. More than 200 events are scheduled to take place in Seoul and South Korea’s main cities, in areas as diverse as culture, the economy, innovation, academic cooperation, tourism, fine dining and sport.

In addition, South Korea was the guest of honor at the book fair which took place in Paris from March 17 to 23.



Health – André Vallini’s participation in the High-Level Conference on Global Health Security in Lyon (March 23, 2016)

André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will take part in the High-Level Conference on Global Health Security today in Lyon, alongside President Hollande and Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa.

his conference - jointly organized by France and the European Commission - is taking place under the patronage of the World Health Organization, which is currently looking at how to adapt its structure to the challenges posed by health emergencies. The conference will notably help to develop a common approach and tools to accelerate the implementation of the International Health Regulations, an international legal instrument that was adopted in order to prevent serious public health risks.

During his visit, André Vallini will attend the launch of the UN Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, an initiative co-chaired by President Hollande and his South African counterpart. This commission is tasked with formulating proposals for actions focusing on ways to support the creation of sustainable jobs in the health and social sector.



Belgium – Attacks in Brussels

These are the latest figures available regarding our compatriots affected by the attacks in Brussels.

Ten people were injured, four of them seriously. All were treated by the Belgian health services, whom we thank for their responsiveness and efficiency.

Our embassy in Brussels and the crisis and support center in Paris are in close contact with their families and friends, whom we are assisting and supporting at this difficult time.

The crisis unit set up by the crisis and support center has received 1,350 calls since the attacks.



Russia / Ukraine – Sentencing of Nadiya Savchenko by the Russian courts (March 22, 2016)

Nadiya Savchenko, a member of Parliament, was sentenced on March 22, 2016, to 22 years in prison by a Russian court. Members of our embassy and the embassies of other EU partners attended her trial.

We call on the Russian authorities to take full account of the concerns raised by the way in which this trial was conducted, in accordance with their commitments to ensure respect for the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.

In this context, we again call on all parties to the Minsk process to release all prisoners, on the basis of the “all for all” principle agreed upon in Minsk. We notably call on Russia to release Nadiya Savchenko, whose health is, moreover, giving cause for concern.



Cyprus – Josef Koudelka exhibition (Limassol – March 22, 2016)

Yesterday evening in Limassol, Cypriot Culture and Education Minister Costas Kadis and French Ambassador to Cyprus René Troccaz inaugurated the exhibit “Vestiges 1991-2016,” featuring works by the celebrated French Magnum photographer Josef Koudelka.

This show presents images of more than 200 Greek or Roman archeological sites in the 20 countries bordering the Mediterranean, including the ancient cities of Salamis and Paphos in Cyprus, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development financed French archeological digs.

Running through April 28, this exhibit was organized by the French Institute of Cyprus, the Lanitis Foundation, and the Cultural Services of the Republic of Cyprus, under the auspices of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.



Burundi – Continued violence (March 23, 2016)

France condemns the continued violence in Burundi.

With the region and international community continuing to mobilize to resolve the crisis, all Burundian stakeholders must commit themselves immediately to a political solution. France reiterates its support for the mediation effort led by former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and applauds his recent visit to the region. We continue to rally our partners, and particularly the UN Security Council, around this objective.

It is imperative that all Burundian stakeholders renounce the use of violence on the ground. Human rights violations, murders and armed attacks must stop, to allow for the resumption of dialogue. Discussions on Burundi at the Human Rights Council on March 22 reflected the international community’s unity in this regard.



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