The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - April 7, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Morocco – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart (Paris - April 7, 2016)

◢  Cyprus – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart (Paris - April 8, 2016)

◢  Rwanda ⁄ Genocide – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (April 7, 2016)

◢  European Union ⁄ Migration – Harlem Désir’s visit to Greece and Turkey with five European counterparts (April 8 to 9, 2016)

◢  Syria – Blocking of humanitarian assistance by the Syrian regime

◢  Burundi (April 7, 2016)

 
Morocco – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart (Paris - April 7, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive his Moroccan counterpart, Salaheddine Mezouar, for a working dinner this evening in Paris.

The two ministers will discuss all aspects of the special partnership between France and Morocco, ahead of Jean-Marc Ayrault’s visit to Morocco scheduled to take place at the end of April.

Their discussions will also focus on regional issues, especially the situation in Libya and in Syria, and on the peace process.

They will also discuss climate issues. France and Morocco are deeply committed to ensuring the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the success of COP22 in Marrakesh.



Cyprus – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his counterpart (Paris - April 8, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive his Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides, tomorrow morning.

The two ministers will discuss the development of our bilateral relations and current European and regional issues, including the refugee crisis and the Syrian conflict.

They will take stock of the inter-Cypriot negotiations. Jean-Marc Ayrault will reaffirm our support for the island’s reunification.

The ministers will give a short statement to the press following their meeting.



Rwanda ⁄ Genocide – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (April 7, 2016)

On this anniversary, I pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the genocide committed in Rwanda in 1994.

Ceremonies are taking place today throughout our country, providing the French people with the opportunity to take part in this day of mourning to honor the victims and express solidarity with the survivors.

The fight against impunity and the prevention of genocide are central and inseparable objectives of our diplomacy.



European Union ⁄ Migration – Harlem Désir’s visit to Greece and Turkey with five European counterparts (April 8 to 9, 2016)

Within the framework of the implementation of the European responses to the influx of refugees, Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will visit Greece tomorrow and then Turkey together with Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of the Italian, Maltese, Portuguese and Slovak governments.

This joint initiative by France and the Netherlands, which holds the presidency of the EU Council, will provide an opportunity to reaffirm Europe’s solidarity with Greece during a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The delegation will take stock of the implementation of the European decisions, notably with the Greek authorities and teams from FRONTEX, the European Asylum Support Office and the Greek Asylum Service. The delegation will visit a refugee camp that is playing a key role in implementing the EU relocation mechanism and will meet with representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and several international and non-governmental organizations.

The ministers will then travel to Istanbul where they will meet with Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, in order to take stock of the implementation of the action plan agreed upon between the EU and Turkey aimed at curbing illegal migration flows.



Syria – Blocking of humanitarian assistance by the Syrian regime

France condemns the lack of improvement in the humanitarian situation in Syria. It condemns the violations of the cessation of hostilities for which the regime is responsible and the obstacles it is placing in the way of the work of the humanitarian actors, in violation of international humanitarian law and notably UNSCR 2254 and UNSCR 2268.

The situation of numerous towns besieged by the regime is troubling. This is notably the case in the town of Deraya, where the populations, including children, do not have access to medical care and are starving to death.

We call on the regime to put an end to these violations and to allow all populations to have access to the humanitarian assistance they need.

What does France think of the initiative by the members of the Alawite community aimed at distancing their community from the Assad regime following the BBC’s publication of a document entitled “declaration of identity reform”?

If confirmed, this initiative would involve the adoption of an important position by the members of the Alawite community, who, like all Syrians, have suffered as a result of the crackdown. This community must play a role in the indispensable political transition in Syria.

All Syrian communities have the right to live in peace in a Syria that respects the country’s diversity. The only way to achieve this is through a political transition.



Burundi (April 7, 2016)

France urges the government of Burundi to implement without delay the announcements made during recent visits to Bujumbura by the UN secretary–general and five African heads of state representing the African Union.

At France’s behest, on April 1 the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2279. It calls once again on all parties in Burundi to engage in the dialogue conducted by African Union mediators, and to respect all the commitments taken by the Burundian government. The resolution strengthens the role of the UN, particularly by giving the Secretary-General’s special advisor a good-offices mandate in support of the mediation process, and asks the Secretary-General to present options in two weeks for a UN police presence.

We support the current efforts conducted by former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, who has our full confidence.

France condemns the shameful treatment of prisoners in Burundian jails, exemplified – as if it were necessary &ndash by the death on March 31 of Jacques Bihozagara, Rwanda’s former ambassador in Paris, in a Bujumbura prison. France pays tribute to his memory and offers its condolences to his family.



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