The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - November 28, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Cuba / Death of Fidel Castro – Reminder of the statement issued by Jean-Marc Ayrault (November 25, 2016)

◢  Iran / Train crash (November 25, 2016) – Reminder of the statement by the spokesperson

◢  Germany – Visit by Harlem Désir to Berlin (November 28, 2016)

◢  Turkey – Meeting between Matthias Fekl and the Turkish minister of economy (Paris - November 25, 2016)

◢  Syria – Situation in Aleppo

◢  Democratic Republic of Congo – Attack against a camp for displaced Hutus (November 27, 2016)

◢  Uganda – Clashes in Kasese (November 26-27, 2016)

 
Cuba / Death of Fidel Castro – Reminder of the statement issued by Jean-Marc Ayrault (November 25, 2016)

Fidel Castro has passed away in Cuba. I extend my condolences to his family and express my solidarity with the Cuban people.

His passing marks the end of a chapter in 20th century history that was marked by hope for emancipation and disappointment in a system that did not respect human rights.

The recent resumption of dialogue with the United States paved the way toward ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba, an embargo which France never accepted. I hope that these changes will continue and that they will be accompanied by the opening up of this country to the world and by efforts to respond to the aspirations of the Cuban people for freedom.

In keeping with its values, France stands ready to support progress in this direction.



Iran / Train crash (November 25, 2016) – Reminder of the statement by the spokesperson

We were shocked to learn of the very heavy toll exacted by the train crash on November 25 on the route between Tehran and Mashhad, which killed approximately 40 people according to the latest reports.

France extends its condolences to the victims' families and wishes the injured a speedy recovery.

It assures Iran of its solidarity at this difficult time.



Germany – Visit by Harlem Désir to Berlin (November 28, 2016)

Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs and Secretary-General for French-German Cooperation, will visit Germany today.

Harlem Désir, together with his counterpart, Michael Roth, and accompanied by Louis Gautier, Secretary-General for Defense and National Security, will open the Berlin conference on security, at which France is the guest of honor this year. In the run-up to the European Council meeting in December, he will call for the strengthening of the EU's security and defense policy, notably at the instigation of France and Germany.

During his visit, Harlem Désir will have working meetings in the Bundestag with German parliamentarians. He will also meet with Uwe Corsepius, EU Affairs Advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the Federal Chancellery.



Turkey – Meeting between Matthias Fekl and the Turkish minister of economy (Paris - November 25, 2016)

M. Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, received Nihat Zeybekci, Turkish Minister of Economy, on November 25.

They took stock of French-Turkish economic relations and our main projects, while our bilateral trade increased sharply in 2015 (€13.8 billion in 2015, + 13% compared with 2014).

Matthias Fekl reaffirmed to his counterpart that France would like its firms to take part in the Turkish government's development and national investment program entitled "Vision 2023."

Following Jean-Marc Ayrault's visit to Ankara last month, Matthias Fekl reaffirmed France's consistent message, calling on the Turkish authorities to offer the necessary guarantees with respect to the rule of law.



Syria – Situation in Aleppo

France is deeply concerned by the violence in Aleppo, following the massive offensive by the regime and its supporters. Over the last few hours, this violence has killed a large number of civilians and forced thousands of inhabitants to flee the city.

It is against this backdrop that Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, would like to hold a ministerial meeting of the group of like-minded countries at the beginning of December.

Brita Hagi Hassan, President of the city council of Aleppo, who is visiting Paris, will be received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to discuss the tragic humanitarian situation in the city.



Democratic Republic of Congo – Attack against a camp for displaced Hutus (November 27, 2016)

France condemns the attack carried out on November 27 against a camp for displaced persons in Luhanga in North Kivu and extends its condolences to the victims' families.

We demand that full light be shed on this attack in order to be able to bring the perpetrators to justice.

France reaffirms its full support for MONOSCO and urges it to press ahead, in close collaboration with the Congolese armed forces, with implementing its mandate to protect civilians, in accordance with UNSCR 2277.



Uganda – Clashes in Kasese (November 26-27, 2016)

France deplores the clashes that took place on Saturday and Sunday in Kasese, in southwest Uganda, between pro-independence activists and the Ugandan security forces. According to the authorities, this attack has reportedly left at least 55 rebels and police officers dead.

We are following the situation with concern and call for efforts to ease tensions.


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