The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - June 23, 2022
In this issue:

◢  UNESCO – Conversation between Catherine Colonna and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay (June 23, 2022)

◢  Rwanda – Conversation between Catherine Colonna and her counterpart (June 23, 2022)

◢  Afghanistan – Earthquake in the southeast of the country (June 23, 2022)

◢  Russia

◢  Togo – Gabon

 
UNESCO – Conversation between Catherine Colonna and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay (June 23, 2022)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna spoke with UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on June 23 at the Quai d'Orsay.

They commended the excellent partnership between France and UNESCO.

They discussed the consequences of the Russian aggression against Ukraine on UNESCO's efforts to protect heritage sites and ensure the safety of journalists.

The minister also reaffirmed France's priority commitment to education, and especially girls' education, ahead of the Transforming Education Pre-Summit taking place at UNESCO headquarters on June 28-30, which will lay the groundwork for the summit hosted by the UN Secretary-General on September 19 in New York.

France intends to continue its full support for expanding UNESCO's activities, as evidenced by the fact that the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has doubled its voluntary contributions to the organization since 2018.



Rwanda – Conversation between Catherine Colonna and her counterpart (June 23, 2022)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna spoke today with Rwanda's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Vincent Biruta.

During this initial conversation, they discussed the biggest challenges facing the region, starting with the Great Lakes area. The minister expressed France's concern over rising tensions between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She reiterated France's support for the Nairobi Process under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC) and for mediation efforts by Angolan President Joao Lourenço aimed at deescalating the situation as swiftly as possible.

The ministers also discussed the terrorist threat in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province and the situation in the Central African Republic.



Afghanistan – Earthquake in the southeast of the country (June 23, 2022)

We were saddened to learn of the strong earthquake that struck southeastern Afghanistan Tuesday night, resulting in numerous casualties. France offers its condolences to the victims' families and reiterates its total solidarity with the Afghan people.

Many humanitarian organizations that are financially supported by France have already deployed their first rescue and assessment teams to the area. Some are about to distribute emergency assistance.

France remains fully committed to Afghanistan.



Russia

Can you confirm that the Russian authorities told the cultural attaché at the French Embassy in Moscow to leave the country?

The Russian authorities informed our ambassador to Moscow on Friday that an embassy employee was no longer welcome on their territory. No legitimate reason was provided. We deplore this unjustified decision. Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna instructed the relevant Ministry departments to swiftly present her with options to determine follow-up actions to be taken.

Against this backdrop, we wish to commend the exemplary work performed by diplomats and staff at our embassy in Russia. Their work falls fully within the framework of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.



Togo – Gabon

Togo and Gabon signaled their interest in joining the Commonwealth. Does that reflect a loss of French influence among its African allies?

These are sovereign decisions of two nations, and as such, we do not comment on them.


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