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Official speeches and statements - March 17, 2016

Published on March 17, 2016

1. Turkey - Kurds - Reply by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to a question in the National Assembly (Paris, 15/03/2016)

France is following with concern the worsening security conditions in south-east Turkey, especially in the main cities, where fighting is killing many civilians. France’s position on the PKK has always been clear and consistent: it deems it a terrorist organization and utterly condemns its violent action. Utter condemnation of terrorism is not exclusive of France and its European Union partners supporting a return to the process of dialogue on the Kurdish issue, which was initiated in 2013, enabled progress and strengthened Turkey’s stability.

This dialogue must resume with all the players concerned - political authorities, civil society, political parties, trade unions, academics - who adopt a non-violent approach. In this respect, France is closely following the proceedings initiated against several academics and key civil society figures who signed a petition on the situation in south-east Turkey. France and the European institutions have recalled on several occasions their commitment to freedom of expression, which Turkey has pledged to respect through its European and international commitments.

2. COP21 - Renewable energy for Africa - Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs (Paris, 15/03/2016)

Mme Ségolène Royal, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs and President of COP21, began a new visit to Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which this year chairs the group of 48 Least Developed Countries [LDCs]. The Democratic Republic of Congo is «the country which is helping make the world breathe,» in the words of the Minister of Tourism and the Environment, Mr Elvis Mutiri wa Bashara.

Indeed, having the world’s second-largest forest and third-longest river, it possesses valuable biodiversity and has potential for hydroelectic power.

The Democratic Republic of Congo played a specially constructive role during the negotiation of the Paris Agreement and was one of the first African countries to present its national contribution.

For Mme Royal, «President Joseph Kabila told me of his wish to develop renewable energy in his country, particularly at the Inga site, which has considerable prospects (up to 44 gigawatts of hydroelectric power), as I was able to see by visiting the site. He also mentioned the potential of solar energy and his desire to build a plant near the Equator. He told me he planned to visit New York for the Paris Agreement signature ceremony, and in the run-up to that event he will mobilize all the LDCs by means of a ministerial meeting on 1 April.

«I told my interlocutor of my desire to help further the African Renewable Energy Initiative. The $10 billion promised by donors by 2020 (including $2 billion from France) should be released quickly.

«Regarding forests, the Democratic Republic of Congo was making considerable efforts to protect its forests and therefore deserved special support.

«I’m going to Gabon, which currently holds the vice-presidency of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), and then I’ll go to Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country.»

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