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Official speeches and statements - August 23, 2021

Published on August 23, 2021

1. United Arab Emirates - Afghanistan - Press release issued by the spokesperson of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Ministry for the Armed Forces (Paris, 23/08/2021)

The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, are travelling to the United Arab Emirates on Monday, 23 August 2021. They will meet at the Al-Dhafra Air Base with the diplomats, military personnel, police officers and everyone working on evacuation operations from Kabul, in extremely difficult conditions.

Operation APAGAN, launched on 15 August 2021 at the request of President Emmanuel Macron, aims to evacuate nationals from France and partner countries as well as Afghans who are in danger because of their connections with France and their engagement in Afghan civil society. Since 15 August, this operation has helped nearly 100 French citizens, more than 40 nationals from partner countries and more than 1,000 Afghan nationals in need of protection.

The two ministers’ visit also provides an opportunity to thank the Emirati authorities for their support in carrying out these evacuation operations. The rotations between Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and France have been facilitated by pre-positioned French forces in the United Arab Emirates and by the agreements between our two countries. The success of this operation is tangible proof of the high-quality, high-level cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates.

The two ministers will be received by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This meeting will provide an opportunity to underline the excellence of the strategic partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates, which Emirati support for the French Operation APAGAN strongly illustrates. It will also be an occasion to share views on the situation in Afghanistan and ways to maintain regional security and stability./.

2. Afghanistan - Welcoming people evacuated from to France - Evacuation flights on 21, 22 and 23 August 2021 - Press release (Paris, 23/08/2021)

The evacuation operations begun on 16 August are continuing.

A seventh flight transporting more than 250 people including 5 French people and 246 Afghans arrived at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport this morning.

Two other flights to Roissy took place at the weekend. A total of 379 people, including 12 French people and 363 Afghans, arrived in France on Saturday 21 August and Sunday 22 August.

Since the operations began, nearly 100 French people and more than 1,000 Afghans have been evacuated.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for the Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for Solidarity and Health are ensuring optimal conditions for welcoming the people as soon as they arrive in France. Medical-psychological and practical support is being offered straight away. Fast-track procedures are being put in place to issue visas to nationals of other countries, following the necessary checks and with a view to guaranteeing domestic security.

Regarding the health situation, the way the welcome is being organized is in keeping with health regulations in force in France:

  • in the absence of a full course of vaccination, COVID-19 screening tests will automatically be carried out, and the people welcomed will have to comply with a 10-day quarantine period (Afghanistan is currently a red-list country);
  • COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered.

Afghans who would like to remain in France in the long term will be supported in practical and administrative ways with their asylum applications. They will benefit from specialist support with their residence permit applications and integration processes.

In this regard, we should emphasize the active role being played - under the supervision of the Inter-ministerial Delegate for the Reception and Integration of Refugees (DIAIR) - by voluntary organizations funded by the State: in particular France Terre d’Asile, but also Adoma, Aurore, CeCler, Coallia, France Horizon, Habitat et Humanisme, Viltaïs, Forum Réfugiés and Groupe SOS, whether it be during this operation or during the many evacuations previously carried out (since May 2021, 623 local recruits, representing 152 families, have been evacuated to France, and between 2012 and 2019, 800 French-army auxiliaries, accompanied by family members, have been brought here).

The situation in Kabul is still complex. All the State services concerned and the French Embassy on the ground remain fully mobilized to ensure further flight rotations. Two additional flights are expected to take place in the next 24 hours./.

3. Haiti - Earthquake in Haiti: France is providing assistance (Paris, 20/08/2021)

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on August 14, 2021, is serving to exacerbate an already difficult humanitarian situation. As President Macron stated, France continues to stand alongside Haiti and its people.

Drawing on the presence of the sovereign forces in the French West Indies, the military is deploying the surveillance frigate Germinal to transport humanitarian cargo. The frigate is transporting a Panther helicopter from the 36F Air Naval Squadron and 25 soldiers from the 33rd Marine Infantry Regiment (33e RIMA).

The frigate has also been loaded with the following cargo:

  • 14 tons of cargo, with a volume of 50m3 (basic necessities), supplied by the Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC) of the French Red Cross in partnership with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Center;
  • 18 tons of cargo, with a volume of 32m3, supplied by the Bernard Hayot / Carrefour Group (25 pallets of water);
  • 15 tons of cargo from the territorial collectivity of Martinique (drinking water).

The Germinal departed on August 18 and is due to arrive in Haiti on August 21.

Additionally, in partnership with the Tulip association, which specializes in pharmaceutical supplies, the Crisis and Support Center of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs will deliver 30 containers (1.7 tons) of emergency medicines to Haiti, which our Embassy will turn over to partner organizations in the healthcare sector.

To ensure that humanitarian aid reaches affected populations, France is boosting its support for the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), and for the French NGO Atlas Logistique, which specializes in the deployment of humanitarian assistance.

France is also helping to deploy the coordination team as part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to aid victims. Two emergency service staffers are part of this team.

Moreover, the French Civil Security Force has offered to send a water purification unit along with 40 personnel members and 22 tons of equipment.

France remains fully committed to Haiti, as reflected by its doubling of food aid since the beginning of the year.

France continues to work actively to get the international community to recommit to helping Haiti recover from the earthquake and to end the crisis./.