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Somalia/Syria/Iran/Senegal

Published on February 21, 2012
Press briefing by the Deputy Press Director of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (excerpts)

Paris, February 20, 2012

(…)

Somalia – Signature of an institutional agreement

THE DEPUTY PRESS DIRECTOR – The President of Somalia, the presidents of the Puntland and Galmudug regions, and leader al-Sunna Wal Jamaaca have reached an agreement on a new parliament and government, which are to be established at the end of the Transitional Federal Government’s mandate.

This agreement is a step in the right direction. France would like this agreement to be swiftly implemented.

France is committed, alongside the international community, to the restoration of security and peace in Somalia. In this respect, we are working closely with all our international – especially British – partners ahead of the London conference on 23 February.

Syria

Q. – Syria is justifying her army’s repeated incursions into northern Lebanon by the presence of training camps and arms trafficking routes. With the Lebanese army unable to confront either the Syrian army or armed groups, what can France do to help Lebanon?

What is France doing at the moment to help Syrian refugees present in Lebanon?

THE DEPUTY PRESS DIRECTOR – We firmly condemn all Syrian army incursions into Lebanese territory. They violate Lebanon’s sovereignty and integrity, to which France is committed.

As the crackdown in Syria gets a little worse every day, France stands by the Lebanese authorities, who want to protect Lebanon from the repercussions of the crisis. At the same time, we remind the Lebanese authorities that it is their responsibility, with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to take in and protect Syrians fleeing the crisis and seeking refuge in Lebanon.

(…)

Iran

Q. – What is France’s reaction to the announcement of the end of Iranian oil sales to France and the UK? What are the diplomatic consequences of this decision? Does it risk increasing the pressure on the price of black gold?

THE DEPUTY PRESS DIRECTOR – On 23 January the European Union adopted unprecedented sanctions aimed at halting all its oil imports from Iran by 1 July 2012 at the latest. In this framework, French companies have already stopped buying Iranian oil.

The aim of this measure is to persuade Iran to resume the negotiations on her nuclear programme by addressing the concerns the programme is arousing among the international community.

Senegal

Q. – Another demonstration is expected in the afternoon following the weekend’s violence in Senegal. Do you have a message for President Wade?

THE DEPUTY PRESS DIRECTOR – France expresses her deep concern over the increased tension in Senegal in recent days. She deplores the death of a demonstrator over the weekend.

France reiterates her commitment to freedom of expression and the freedom to demonstrate, and calls for the release of all the people arrested during the recent days’ demonstrations./.

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