The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - June 21, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Human rights / Norway – Jean-Marc Ayrault's participation in the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty (June 21, 2016)

◢  Turkey / Freedom of the press – Arrest of Erol Onderoglu, Ahmet Nesin and Sebnem Korur Fincanci (June 20, 2016)

◢  Central African Republic – Violence (June 21, 2016)

◢  Congo – Political situation (June 21, 2016)

◢  Mali – Implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement

◢  Jordan – Attack against the Rukban border crossing point (June 21, 2016)

◢  Bahrain – Situation of Sheikh Isa Qassim (June 20, 2016)

◢  Egypt – Death sentences for three journalists (June 18, 2016)

◢  Euro 2016 – Mr. Shprygin's situation (June 21, 2016)

◢  Second edition of the French Tech Ticket (New York - June 22, 2016)

◢  French-Japanese innovation seminar (June 21, 2016)

 
Human rights / Norway – Jean-Marc Ayrault's participation in the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty (June 21, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault will take part in the opening session of the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty on June 21 in Oslo. This edition will be co-sponsored by France, alongside Norway and Australia.

The minister of foreign affairs and international development will reaffirm France's resolute and unwavering commitment to the universal abolition of the death penalty, which is an inhumane, unjust and ineffective punishment.

He will underscore the importance of collective action to achieve this goal, while the death penalty remains in force in 58 countries and there were at least 1,634 executions in more than 20 countries in 2015—the highest number since 1989.

On this occasion, Jean-Marc Ayrault will meet with his Norwegian counterpart, Borge Brende, with whom he will discuss key international crises as well as the implementation of the Paris agreement. Norway is a partner of France that has shown itself to be especially committed to ensuring the success of COP21.



Turkey / Freedom of the press – Arrest of Erol Onderoglu, Ahmet Nesin and Sebnem Korur Fincanci (June 20, 2016)

France is extremely concerned by the pretrial arrest of Erol Onderoglu, representative of Reporters Without Borders in Turkey, Ahmet Nesin, a journalist, and Sebnem Korur Fincanci, Chair of Turkey's Human Rights Foundation, on June 20 in Istanbul. No one should be imprisoned for defending the freedom of expression.

France reaffirms its attachment to the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press everywhere. It supports the independent work of human rights NGOs such as Reporters Without Borders.



Central African Republic – Violence (June 21, 2016)

France condemns the violence that has taken place over the last few days in the Central African Republic, notably in Bangui. We call for the swift restoration of calm.

We would caution all those who try to obstruct the reconciliation process in the Central African Republic led by the new authorities that emerged from the elections. The perpetrators of the violence must be held accountable for their acts.

We reaffirm our support for MINUSCA in implementing its mandate to protect civilians and ensure the stabilization of the Central African Republic.

France again assures President Touadéra and the authorities of the Central African Republic of its determination, together with the international community as a whole, to support their efforts to promote the country's recovery, in accordance with the expectations that were clearly expressed by the population.



Congo – Political situation (June 21, 2016)

France is concerned about the political situation in Congo, as well as the situation of Jean-Marie Mokoko and other opposition figures.

It reaffirms its attachment to the protection of fundamental freedoms, whether they relate to the press, unions or political parties.

As Jean-Marc Ayrault indicated to his counterpart, Jean-Claude Gakosso, on June 14, France calls for dialogue and respect for the rule of law.



Mali – Implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement

France welcomes the signing in Bamako on June 19 of the agreement on the establishment of interim authorities. This is another step forward in the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.

We commend the mediation efforts over the last two years by Algeria and notably by Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs, which made this progress possible.

The interim authorities must now be swiftly established on the ground, in accordance with the agreed timetable, in order to restore basic services for the people. We also encourage the parties to make progress with respect to the measures to ensure security, notably the establishment of joint patrols and the acceleration of the cantonment process.

France, together with the UN, the EU and all of its partners, is committed to ensuring Mali's stabilization.



Jordan – Attack against the Rukban border crossing point (June 21, 2016)

France condemns the terrorist attack targeted against the Jordanian armed forces on June 21 in Rukban, close to the Syrian-Jordanian border, which resulted in numerous casualties.

We extend our condolences to the victims' families and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

France assures the Jordanian authorities and armed forces of its support in the fight against terrorism.



Bahrain – Situation of Sheikh Isa Qassim (June 20, 2016)

France notes with concern the decision taken on June 20 by the Bahraini authorities to strip Sheikh Isa Qassim of his Bahraini nationality.

We call on the region's leaders to do everything possible to avoid exacerbating tensions.



Egypt – Death sentences for three journalists (June 18, 2016)

France is concerned by the latest death sentences handed down by a Cairo court on June 18. Three of these were for Al Jazeera journalists, who had been tried in absentia. We note that these decisions are subject to appeal.

They follow the mass convictions handed down in recent months, particularly of former Egyptian leaders.

We reaffirm our resolute and unwavering opposition to the death penalty anywhere and in all circumstances. France reiterates its commitment to freedom of the press and of opinion, guaranteed by the international texts to which Egypt is a party.



Euro 2016 – Mr. Shprygin's situation (June 21, 2016)

Upon learning that Alexander Shprygin—who had been part of a group of Russian fans that had been expelled from France for public disorder—was in the country, French officials took immediate measures.

He was arrested and placed in police custody, and should be expelled in the coming hours.

He is now banned from entering France.



Second edition of the French Tech Ticket (New York - June 22, 2016)

The minister of foreign affairs and international development supports the French Tech Ticket program, which will be accepting applications from June 22 to August 24.

This program fosters the spread of innovation and concrete applications for research in France. Technological innovation is an engine for growth and a key component of our country's attractiveness to investors.

This year, 70 foreign start-ups will be honored (compared with 23 during the first edition). Prizewinners will be housed for one year, beginning in January 2017, in one of France's 41 business incubators. They will receive a 45,000 euro prize to launch an innovative project in France; an accelerated, simplified process for obtaining a residence permit enabling them to live and work in the country; and a guidance and support program that includes master classes.



French-Japanese innovation seminar (June 21, 2016)

As part of the France-Japan Year of Innovation 2015-2016, launched by our two countries, the minister of foreign affairs and international development is attending a seminar hosted by the Japanese embassy in Paris to honor our scientific and industrial partnerships.

Japan is the CNRS's leading Asian partner. French and Japanese researchers co-publish more than 2,300 papers each year. Two hundred fifty agreements have been signed among institutions of higher learning and research centers.

Expanding our partnerships with respect to innovation strengthens our economic ties. Japan is France's second-largest trading partner in Asia and the leading Asian investor in France, while France is the third-largest investor in Japanese stocks.


France in the
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