The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - October 7, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Colombia / Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Juan Manuel Santos – Statement by the minister of foreign affairs and international development (October 7, 2016)

◢  Russia – 10th anniversary of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya (October 7, 2016)

◢  Haiti – Humanitarian assistance following Hurricane Matthew (October 7, 2016)

◢  Human rights – World Day Against the Death Penalty: journalists and abolition (October 10, 2016)

◢  Niger – Terrorist attack against a refugee camp (October 6, 2016)

 
Colombia / Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Juan Manuel Santos – Statement by the minister of foreign affairs and international development (October 7, 2016)

France welcomes the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, for his resolute action to promote peace in his country.

This award recognizes President Santos's courage in choosing the path of dialogue in order to restore peace in Colombia. It serves as an incentive to continue on this path following the referendum on October 2.

I warmly congratulate President Santos. France stands more than ever alongside Colombia in its efforts to achieve peace.



Russia – 10th anniversary of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya (October 7, 2016)

France pays tribute to Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered 10 years ago in Moscow. The ambassador for human rights will take part in a memorial ceremony in Paris this afternoon.

On this occasion, France reaffirms its commitment to the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press and the protection of journalists everywhere.

We are concerned at the increase in attacks against journalists and media professionals, including in Russia. In this respect, France was disturbed to learn of the arrest in Russia on September 30 of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who has been accredited by our ministry since 2011 as a permanent correspondent for the Ukrinform news agency.

We call on Russia to clarify the reasons for his arrest and to allow the Ukrainian consular authorities to meet with Mr. Sushchenko in accordance with international conventions.



Haiti – Humanitarian assistance following Hurricane Matthew (October 7, 2016)

France is stepping up its humanitarian assistance for Haiti as a result of the needs assessment carried out in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development's crisis and support center, which is coordinating this action with that of all of the humanitarian stakeholders involved, is chartering a special plane to transport two water treatment stations and 60 sécurité civile [emergency services] experts, cholera treatment kits as well as emergency relief supplies.

The two Ecureuil helicopters provided by the Airbus Helicopters Foundation can be used to transport medical and emergency equipment to the isolated areas of Haiti.

France reaffirms its support for and solidarity with the Haitian government and people at this difficult time.



Human rights – World Day Against the Death Penalty: journalists and abolition (October 10, 2016)

On the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty, in a year that is particularly symbolic because we are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in France, an event entitled "Journalists and abolition" will be opened on October 10 by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

This event, hosted by the Quai d'Orsay in partnership with France Culture, the association "Together Against the Death Penalty," the International Organization of la Francophonie and the National Council of Bars, will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the resolute and constant commitment of France and its EU partners to the universal abolition of the death penalty. It is part of the "EU for Human Rights" campaign launched by EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis, who will be in attendance.

Jean-Marc Ayrault will present the awards to the winners of the international competition open to French-speaking journalism students, in the presence of Robert Badinter, former Keeper of the Seals and former President of the Constitutional Council.

A radio broadcast hosted by France Culture journalist Nadine Epstain will provide an opportunity to discuss the accounts of two prisoners who had been condemned to death and were then acquitted: Suzan Kigula, a Ugandan national and Ndumé Olatushani, an American citizen.



Niger – Terrorist attack against a refugee camp (October 6, 2016)

France condemns the attack carried out on October 6 by a terrorist group in Niger against a camp for Malian refugees in Tazalit, in the region of Tassara, in which 22 members of Niger's security and defense forces, who were protecting civilians, were killed.

France extends its condolences to the victims' families and to the Nigerien authorities. It expresses its solidarity with them and pays tribute to their commitment to building peace in Mali and accepting refugees.

This terrorist attack underscores the importance of developing a cross-border response between the states in the region in order to address the challenges posed by terrorism. France pays tribute to the efforts made so far by the countries concerned and reaffirms its commitment to supporting them through Operation Barkhane.


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