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Official speeches and statements - February 8, 2016

Published on February 8, 2016

1. Zambia - Meeting between M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, and his Zambian counterpart - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic(Paris, 08/02/2016)

The French President had a meeting at the Elysée Palace on 8 February 2016 with the President of Zambia, Mr Edgar Lungu, who is paying the first official visit by a Zambian president to Paris since 1983.

The Head of State expressed his wish to develop political and economic relations with Zambia. He thanked Zambia for its support during the Paris Climate Conference (COP21). He reiterated his determination to ensure a swift follow-up to COP21 on the African continent. He welcomed the active role of French public and private stakeholders in developing renewable energy in Zambia.

The French President also welcomed the conclusion of several partnership agreements between France and Zambia. An agreement in the audiovisual field will enable France 24 to be broadcast in Zambia. In the area of education and research, France will endeavour to facilitate student mobility by opening a Campus France office in Lusaka. Academic cooperation will be stepped up thanks to an agreement between the University of Zambia, the Ecole des Mines de Nantes and Télécom Bretagne in the field of engineering and logistics, as well as between the Sorbonne and Zambia’s Hotel and Tourism Training Institute in the tourism sector. Finally, a scientific partnership will be established between the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle and its Zambian equivalent for the knowledge and protection of biodiversity.

The two presidents also discussed the situation in several African countries. François Hollande welcomed the participation of Zambian forces in United Nations operations in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they are helping to restore peace. With regard to the CAR, the two heads of state welcomed the pursuit of the election process. On the DRC, they signalled their commitment to respect for the constitution and the organization of national elections within the legal timeframes. Regarding Burundi, they reiterated their commitment to promote inclusive dialogue between the government and the opposition, with a view to restoring the balance and stability created by the Arusha Accords.

2. Benin - Meeting between M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, and his Beninese counterpart - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, 08/02/2016)

The President had a meeting at the Elysée Palace on 8 February with Mr Thomas Boni Yayi, President of Benin. He congratulated him on his two terms as leader of the Republic of Benin and underlined the vitality of Beninese democracy. He expressed the wish for the presidential election at the end of February to go as smoothly as possible.

The two heads of state talked about the situation in the region and signalled their active efforts to fight terrorist groups in West Africa.

They jointly called on the President of Burundi to end the violence in his country and agree to hold talks with his opponents, without any preconditions.

3. North Korea - Ballistic launch - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, 07/02/2016)

France utterly condemns North Korea’s new, flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions.

The rocket launch which took place last night, one month after a new nuclear test, is a senseless provocation. France calls for a swift and severe reaction by the international community at the Security Council today.

4. Fight against terrorism - European cooperation - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, 05/02/2016)

Europe is facing a terrorist threat of unprecedented proportions, against which increased European and international cooperation and improved coordination between the intelligence and security services are an absolute priority.

Building on, and in addition to, the important cooperation states have already begun and the momentum provided at European Union level in order to combat this threat, a meeting of senior European government figures was held in Paris on 1 February on the initiative of the national intelligence coordinator, under the aegis of Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior.

Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, reported on the existing tools and the proposals put forward by member states to the European Union aimed at stepping up the prevention of terrorism and radicalization.

The delegations shared a similar assessment of the threat and agreed on the need to deepen cooperation between their intelligence and security services. The participants also discussed measures which could help make the European area and its external borders safe and secure, increase air transport security, and prevent and fight propaganda, the financing of terrorism and arms trafficking. They agreed on the importance of meeting again and looking at the conditions for broadening their work to include other EU member countries.

5. Migration - Interview given by M. Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, to the daily newspaper Le Parisien (Paris, 06/02/2016)

Q. - Is Greece showing itself equal to the humanitarian emergency and the security crisis Europe is facing?

THE MINISTER - We haven’t come here to blame Greece, but on the contrary, through solidarity with it - to succeed in overcoming a migration crisis unprecedented since the creation of the European Union.

The Greek government has firmly committed itself to ensuring the hot spots are operational as soon as possible. However, there’s still a lot to do, particularly in terms of digital equipment. There’s an emergency. If we don’t take it into account, the consequences for Schengen will be disastrous.

Q. - Is free movement under threat?

THE MINISTER - It means getting [migration] flows under control. Disorder and chaos can lead only to the end of Schengen.

Q. - Is France supporting the Greeks enough?

THE MINISTER - We’re the first European country to implement the process of «relocating» migrants from Greece: nearly 100 are being accepted in France, out of 570 places already made known. We’ve also sent 60 members of staff to the Frontex agency. And next week, a French team specialized in detecting false documents will be deployed. France is taking action, on the front line.

Q. - There’s a persistent risk of terrorists blending in with the migrants...

THE MINISTER - That will be brought under control only if we implement the proposals we’ve made as quickly as possible. We must create the mechanism enabling hot spots to register all migrants, identify them with a high level of reliability and consult the European police databases.

Q. - How can the migration crisis be stopped?

THE MINISTER - Like the issue of terrorism, the migration crisis can be grasped only at European level. In France we have the requirement for a controlled approach. That’s why - instead of creating a large camp in Calais, which leads nowhere - I favour specifically-adapted reception arrangements, under the right conditions. This approach has already enabled nearly 4,000 people to be given shelter outside Calais, in reception centres for asylum seekers or reception and guidance centres. Moreover, we’re stepping up the fight against people-smuggling networks, as well as checks enabling us to deport those who are not eligible for asylum and therefore can’t remain in our country.

Q. - How do you feel about French people’s growing concern about migrants?

THE MINISTER - The migration crisis we’re going through means taking in those who are persecuted in their countries and deporting more economic migrants. If we want to deal humanely with the refugee issue, we need control. Let’s not constantly stir up fears in order to awaken the basest instincts.

6. Climate - COP21 - Munich Security Conference - Awarding of the 2016 prize to Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, President of COP21 - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesman (Paris, 08/02/2016)

The jury of the prestigious Munich Security Conference has decided to award its 2016 prize to M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, for the diplomatic success of COP21 and the conclusion of the Paris Agreement.

The prize, whose past recipients have included Henry Kissinger, Javier Solana, Joseph Lieberman, Helmut Schmidt and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, will be awarded to Laurent Fabius in Munich on the evening of Saturday 13 February.

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