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Official speeches and statements - August 16, 2021

Published on August 16, 2021

1. Afghanistan - Communiqué issued by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (Paris - August 15, 2021)

In light of the extremely rapid deterioration in the security situation in Afghanistan, the French authorities have decided to relocate our embassy to Kabul airport; it remains in operation and is actively proceeding with the evacuation of any of our compatriots still left in the country. The Embassy and the Crisis and Support Centre of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs are in touch with all French nationals of whom they are aware in Afghanistan. The methodical evacuation of our citizens has been under way for weeks, and a special flight was specifically chartered on 16 July following numerous calls by the Ministry urging our nationals to leave the country.

France does not forget those who have worked for her. Since May, thanks to early planning and forecasting over recent months, Afghan employees of French entities in Afghanistan who could be in danger have been welcomed by our country, together with their families. More than 600 people have been taken in hand by the Ministry of the Interior, in conjunction with local governments and associations who partner with us. Such operations had in fact been under way since 2013 to welcome local civilians who had worked for our armed forces and their families - more than 1,350 Afghans.

Despite the rapid pace of events, France intends to do its utmost to continue protecting members of Afghan civil society, rights workers, artists and journalists who are in particular danger due to their activities. Everything is currently being done to maintain - to the greatest possible extent - our capacity to issue visas at Kabul airport, with the help of reinforcements, and enable them to evacuate. France is proving its solidarity with all those who defend freedom.

To coordinate these operations, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has activated a crisis unit.

By order of President Macron, the Ministry for the Armed Forces will, in the coming hours, deploy military reinforcements and aircraft to the United Arab Emirates in order to begin initial evacuations to Abu Dhabi.

France remains in close, constant contact with its European and American partners. It extends its thanks to the Emirati authorities for the facilities they are making available.

I want to thank all the employees of our embassy in Kabul, who are a credit to our country and its values under very difficult circumstances, along with all the teams mobilized by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry for the Armed Forces, and our military.

2. Canada - France and Canada renew their climate and environment partnership - Communiqué issued by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition (Paris - August 13, 2021)

Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition, and her Canadian counterpart, The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, renewed the successful 2018 France-Canada Partnership on Climate and Environment that will guide the next stage of joint climate action.

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron met while at the G7 Leaders Summit in June 2021 and agreed to renew this Partnership to promote ambitious objectives, in both countries and internationally, for protecting biodiversity, fighting climate change and for carbon neutrality by 2050. The original Partnership was announced by both heads of State in 2018 to support and accelerate international progress on meeting Paris Agreement targets with a series of concrete actions.

Building on the success of the Partnership, Canada and France will continue to work together on a new set of initiatives that will support the global transition to a low-carbon economy, mobilize action against biodiversity loss and provide a fora for sharing experiences on implementing ambitious climate action, including on carbon pricing.

New initiatives under the renewed Partnership include working through the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which Canada co-leads, to share experiences in phasing out coal and ensure a Just Transition for impacted communities and workers; promoting the Ocean Plastics Charter as one way of increasing resource efficiency and protecting the oceans; promoting a post-COVID green recovery through cooperation in trade, investment and industrial sectors; and supporting, alongside other donor countries, an increase in the share of climate financing with co-benefits for biodiversity.

"I am delighted that the French-Canadian relationship is based on a convergence of views and interests, in terms of promoting democracy, gender equality, the fight against climate change, and the protection of biodiversity and oceans. The renewal of this Partnership will make it possible to initiate a true virtuous French-Canadian dynamic for the international ambition on climate and biodiversity, as the major multilateral events COP15 and COP26 are approaching." - Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition.

"Our two countries have committed to continue our international leadership in climate action. I am proud to announce the renewal of this productive climate Partnership and the addition of many initiatives that will push forward international work on priority areas ahead of COP26."- The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Quick facts

  • The France-Canada Climate and Environment Partnership was first signed in 2018 to help the two countries redouble their efforts and work together even more closely to fight climate change.
  • The biodiversity work under the Partnership will support the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People’s target to protect 30% of the planet’s land and sea by 2030.
  • In 2018 and 2019, this Partnership helped train Francophone African women negotiators to bring their voices to international climate negotiations.
  • In May 2019, this Partnership hosted academics, the private sector, civil society and governments to share experiences on carbon pricing.
  • In November 2019, to further the transition to a low carbon economy, financial risk disclosure, and sustainable finance for biodiversity, this Partnership hosted a Roundtable on Sustainable Finance.