The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - August 25, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Colombia / Peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault (August 25, 2016)

◢  Egypt – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry (August 24, 2016)

◢  EU – Speech by Harlem Désir at the Ecole Polytechnique (August 25, 2016)

◢  Afghanistan – Attack on the American University (August 24, 2016)

◢  Burma/Myanmar – Earthquake in Bagan (August 24, 2016)

 
Colombia / Peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC – Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault (August 25, 2016)

I welcome the signing of a comprehensive and definitive peace agreement by the Colombian government and the FARC that opens the door to resolving a conflict that has gone on for more than 50 years and left several hundred thousand victims.

This historic agreement proves that, while long and difficult, the search for peace is a goal that deserves to be pursued tirelessly.

I congratulate President Juan Manuel Santos—who led these negotiations in 2012—for his success. I also applaud the role played by the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, as well as the accompanying countries, Chile and Venezuela.

France stands shoulder to shoulder with the Colombian people to support them on their road to peace. We will continue to back the peace process, both bilaterally, by helping fund rural development and demining operations, and within the European Union and the United Nations, which will have an important role to play in implementing this agreement.



Egypt – Telephone conversation between Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry (August 24, 2016)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault spoke by phone on August 24 with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.

They discussed the situation of the families of the victims of the Egyptair MS804 crash. They agreed on the need to do everything possible to respond to the families' legitimate concerns.

The two ministers also reviewed regional challenges. They stressed the goal of holding an international conference at the end of the year to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On the issue of Libya, they reaffirmed their support for the Presidency Council and Prime Minister Sarraj. Finally, they called for the establishment of a lasting truce in Syria, the only thing that will make it possible to respond to the humanitarian emergency and to resume negotiations to end the crisis.



EU – Speech by Harlem Désir at the Ecole Polytechnique (August 25, 2016)

Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir will speak at the Ecole Polytechnique on August 25, where he will conclude the first day of "business-teacher discussions."

Organized by the Business Institute in partnership with the Education Ministry and the Council on Economic Analysis, this event fosters ties between businesses, economists and teachers. There are 1,700 participants this year.

The topic of Mr. Désirís speech is "From the migrant crisis to Brexit: the major challenges to be addressed to reinvigorate Europe." While the EU risks withdrawing inward or even disintegrating, France is working with its partners to reinvigorate the European project, based on three priorities: security and defense; investment, growth and jobs; and young people.



Afghanistan – Attack on the American University (August 24, 2016)

France condemns the attack on the American University of Afghanistan on August 24 that killed several students and two police officers and injured dozens.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and to the Afghan government.

Targeting a university is unconscionable. Access to education is crucial to Afghanistan's development. France applauds the courage of the Afghan security forces that brought an end to this attack. We stand with Afghanistan at this difficult time.



Burma/Myanmar – Earthquake in Bagan (August 24, 2016)

France was saddened to learn of the earthquake that struck northern Burma on August 24, resulting in several deaths.

We offer our condolences to the victims' families and loved ones and to the Burmese authorities. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault asked Phyo Min Thein, chief minister of the Yangon region, with whom he was meeting on August 24, to convey his condolences to the Burmese authorities.

An assessment is under way of what appears to be major damage, particularly at the Bagan complex, where temples were damaged. This historic site is in the process of being registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

France, which works with this country to preserve its heritage, stands ready to provide its support to the Burmese authorities.


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