The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - June 23, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Colombia / Ceasefire agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC (Havana - June 23, 2016) – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

◢  Economic diplomacy / "Tour de France" of SMEs – Visit by Matthias Fekl to Toulouse (June 23, 2016)

◢  Turkey

 
Colombia / Ceasefire agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC (Havana - June 23, 2016) – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

I welcome the signing in Cuba of a ceasefire agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in the presence of our permanent representative to the UN. It paves the way for the swift conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement to put an end to the conflict which, over the last 50 years, has left several tens of thousands of people dead and displaced more than 6 million.

France has been lending its support to these negotiations since they were initiated in November 2012. In order to lend support to these negotiations, we provide assistance to Colombia in numerous areas. Thanks to the French Development Agency, €440 million in special funding was allocated to support rural development over the period 2015-2016. In May 2016, I also approved a €300,000 grant for mine clearance actions in the areas most affected by the conflict. We are working on the ground to promote human rights.

We also support Colombia within the EU and within the multilateral forums. The French presidency of the UN Security Council is working actively to implement UNSCR 2261 of January 25, 2016, which provides for a political mission to monitor the ceasefire. We are ready to take part in this mission alongside our European partners.



Economic diplomacy / "Tour de France" of SMEs – Visit by Matthias Fekl to Toulouse (June 23, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will visit Toulouse today in order to urge SMEs to strengthen their international presence and to promote tourism in France. This visit marks the 6th stage of his "Tour de France" of SMEs aimed at supporting companies in the 13 French regions.

Matthias Fekl will take part in the "International Destination Forum" hosted by the Midi-Pyrénées Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is aimed at supporting exporting firms. He will chair a working meeting at the site shared by Airbus—France's leading exporter—and ATR. Patrick de Castelbajac, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, will attend the meeting. The minister of state will also visit ATR's assembly lines.

Matthias Fekl will then attend—alongside Carole Delga, President of the region—a seminar hosted by "Voies navigables de France" aimed at raising the profile of the "Canal des Deux Mers" and developing its tourism and economic potential.



Turkey

What is the situation of the three human rights activists arrested in Turkey?

As soon as we learned of the arrest of these three human rights activists, we expressed our concern.

France remains very concerned by the provisional detention of Reporters Without Borders representative Erol Önderoğlu, journalist Ahmet Nesin, and Sebnem Korur Fincanci, president of Turkey's Human Rights Foundation.

Our embassy in Ankara and our consulate-general in Istanbul are mobilizing their efforts and are closely following the judicial proceedings under way. We hope that these human rights activists will be released as quickly as possible.


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