The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - November 8, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Senegal / Guinea – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault (November 10-12, 2016)

◢  Turkey / Freedom of the press – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Can Dundar, former editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily newspaper "Cumhuriyet" (Paris - November 9, 2016)

◢  Democratic Republic of Congo – Arrest of journalists (November 6, 2016)

◢  Safety of journalists abroad and in areas of conflict

◢  French education abroad – Awarding of the 2016 Prix Goncourt to Le´la Slimani, former student at the Lycée Descartes in Rabat

 
Senegal / Guinea – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault (November 10-12, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will visit Senegal and Guinea from November 10 to 12.

The meetings with his counterparts and President Macky Sall and President Alpha Condé will provide an opportunity to take stock of our very close bilateral relations and regional issues. Senegal and Guinea have deployed large contingents of Blue Helmets to peacekeeping operations in Africa.

In Senegal, the visit will notably help prepare for President Macky Sall's state visit to France in December. Jean-Marc Ayrault will pay tribute to some of the recent development initiatives, notably with respect to decentralized cooperation. He will take part, alongside President Macky Sall, in the ceremony to mark Armed Forces Day and will pay tribute to the Senegalese sharpshooters, in Thiaroye. He will take part in consultations on the international crises being addressed by the UN Security Council; Senegal holds the presidency of the Security Council this month.

In Guinea, Jean-Marc Ayrault will express France's support for the efforts of the country, which was declared free of the Ebola epidemic in June. He will affirm our support by launching, together with President Alpha Condé, the construction of the Pasteur Institute and the center for clinical research and training on infectious diseases. In the run-up to COP22, he will also discuss the prospects for renewable energy with President Alpha Condé, who is the coordinator of the African initiative on this issue. He will take part in the November 11 ceremonies at the cemetery of Boulbinet.

In Senegal as well as Guinea, Jean-Marc Ayrault will meet with our compatriots established in these countries.



Turkey / Freedom of the press – Meeting between Harlem Désir and Can Dundar, former editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily newspaper "Cumhuriyet" (Paris - November 9, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will receive Can Dundar, former editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily newspaper "Cumhuriyet."

They will discuss the state of press freedom in Turkey, following the large number of arrests of journalists, including members of the editorial staff of "Cumhuriyet," and the closing of several media outlets.

They will notably take stock of the situation of Can Dundar, sentenced by the court of first instance to 5 years and 10 months in prison in May, as well as the trials of Erol Onderoglu, Turkey's representative to Reporters Without Borders, journalist Ahmet Nesin, and Sebnem Korur Fincanci, President of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, whose first hearing was held on November 8. Our Consulate General in Istanbul attended the hearing.

As the EU just reaffirmed today, we are, together with our European partners, concerned by the violations of press freedom in Turkey. We call on Turkey to comply with its international commitments regarding the respect of freedoms, notably under the European Convention on Human Rights.



Democratic Republic of Congo – Arrest of journalists (November 6, 2016)

France condemns the arrest yesterday in the Democratic Republic of Congo of two journalists from Manika Radio-Television in Kolwezi.

This is a further infringement of the freedom of expression after Radio Okapi and RFI were taken off air on November 5 in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.

We call on the Congolese authorities to respect the freedom of the press.



Safety of journalists abroad and in areas of conflict

We are fully committed to the freedom of the press, to the right of journalists to freely exercise their profession as well as to their safety.

As such, we encourage the journalists working in areas of conflict to register themselves on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development's Ariane website, to provide information about their routes and, if necessary to contact our consulates or embassies.

The Ariane system provides travelers with safety recommendations by text or email and allows them to be contacted in crisis situations. The Ariane system was developed in collaboration with the National Commission on Information Technology and Civil Liberties and fully guarantees the security and privacy of personal data.

To register, please go to: diplomatie.gouv.fr/ariane.



French education abroad – Awarding of the 2016 Prix Goncourt to Leïla Slimani, former student at the Lycée Descartes in Rabat

We extend our warmest congratulations to Leïla Slimani, winner of the 2016 Prix Goncourt 2016 for her book "Chanson Douce" ("Sweet Song") and former student at the Lycée Descartes in Rabat, Morocco, where she earned her baccalauréat, before going to France to pursue higher education.

We also congratulate Gaël Faye, a 2016 Prix Goncourt finalist for his book "Petit pays" ("Little Country") and former student of the French school in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The network of 495 French educational establishments abroad has 342,000 students, including 217,000 foreign students, in 137 countries.


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