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Official speeches and statements - November 3, 2016

Published on November 3, 2016

1. Fight against terrorism - National Defense and Security Council - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - November 2, 2016)

The National Defence and Security Council looked at the results of measures taken to guarantee the country’s protection against the developing terrorist threat. It also took stock of the various investigations under way.

On our forces’ operations abroad, the council also assessed the first weeks of the offensive to recapture Mosul, which is proceeding according to the goals set. It reviewed the details of our support for the Iraqi and Kurdish forces engaged in the operations to erode the defenses of Daesh [so-called ISIL]. It recalled the absolute necessity of protection and humanitarian aid for civilians.

The situation in Syria was also discussed, as attacks on the population continue during the fighting. Efforts must be continued at every level to finally enable access to humanitarian supplies and the evacuation of wounded people in the districts of Aleppo under siege from the regime forces and their supporters.

2. Lebanon - Bilateral relations - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - October 31, 2016)

The French President had a meeting with Mr Michel Aoun, the newly elected President of Lebanon. He offered him his congratulations, his predecessor’s mandate having ended more than two years ago. He confirmed to him France’s unshakeable friendship with his country.

He confirmed to President Aoun France’s determination to continue standing alongside Lebanon and lend it support to maintain its stability, integrity and security in the tragic situation the region is experiencing.

The French President also had a meeting with the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Mr Nabih Berri, whose commitment to national dialogue he commended. He also paid tribute to the Prime Minister, Mr Tamam Salam, for his action in difficult circumstances. He will meet the next prime minister once he has been chosen.

3. Migration - United Kingdom - Situation of unaccompanied minors in Calais - Communiqué issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (Paris - November 2, 2016)

Manuel Valls, Prime Minister, today received, alongside Keeper of the Seals and Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas, and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, representatives of the Assemblée des départements de France, the Association des maires de France and France Urbaine to give them a report on the Calais camp’s evacuation and set out to them the situation regarding the minors. As such, the Prime Minister thanked the elected representatives for their commitment alongside the government in managing this difficult humanitarian situation.

Regarding the minors, they will be transferred from the temporary reception center in Calais to reception and guidance centers for minors (CAOMIs) up and down the country, from where the British authorities will study applications for departure to the United Kingdom. The situation of minors with no ties to the United Kingdom will be assessed, before they are gradually taken care of under ordinary legislation. As such, the department welcoming them on Wednesday [3 November] will not automatically be the one in which the CAOMI where they are first received is located.

The Prime Minister informed France’s departments that the government will take responsibility for caring for the minors and paying for the cost of this while their situation is assessed, and that negotiations will be started with departments on paying for the care of these minors once they come under ordinary child welfare legislation. In this context, he called on the departments to lend their benevolent support so that the operation, which will allow the Calais camp to be definitively cleared and ensure that unaccompanied minors are cared for in a dignified way, is a complete success.

4. Thirteenth meeting of the Western Mediterranean (5+5 Dialogue) Forum - Libya - Syria - Statements by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, at his joint press conference with his Moroccan counterpart, Mr Salaheddine Mezouar (Marseille - October 28, 2016)


Ladies and gentlemen,

With my friend Salaheddine Mezouar, who is also my opposite number - the Moroccan Foreign Minister -, I co-chaired the 13th meeting of the Western Mediterranean (5+5 Dialogue) Forum.

It’s a body which brings together five countries on the southern and as many on the northern shore of the Mediterranean and which is, above all, a unique forum for dialogue between foreign ministers, providing us with an opportunity to discuss the major common challenges affecting both shores of the Mediterranean. So the 13th meeting was held in Marseille today. I suggested to Salaheddine Mezouar that we hold the meeting in Marseille, he was kind enough to agree, and he perfectly understood its purpose and significance.

Indeed, Marseille is a great French metropolis but also a great Mediterranean metropolis, with a population that is representative of our country’s diversity. It’s a metropolis which I’m convinced has potential, because it’s just provided itself with the means to act, becoming—thanks to the law which was passed and has been implemented since 1 January—, the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis. I’m happy to note that the momentum is there. A few moments ago we met some researchers, because here in Marseille there’s some very significant research potential in the area of Mediterranean cooperation. That’s the case with the development research institute, AViTeM, based in the Villa Méditerranée, OCEMO [Office for Economic Cooperation in the Mediterranean and the Middle East], the CMI—the Center for Mediterranean Integration—and ANIMA, which brings together research, training and expertise. I welcomed in particular the role of Aix-Marseille University, which has been, in a way, the vanguard of the Marseille metropolis that is now taking off.


I’d like to express my gratitude to Salaheddine Mezouar for understanding the challenge of holding this meeting in Marseille. I’ll also take this opportunity to thank Morocco, because Morocco co-chaired this dialogue body with France and because this presidency is ending. Algeria will be taking up the baton, and France still has a year for the co-presidency. But Morocco will continue to hold an even more prestigious and important presidency, because in a few days’ time your country, cher Salaheddine, will be hosting COP22. I’d like to express my full admiration, because you’ve fully taken up the challenge following the historic decision of the Paris Agreement. You’ve pledged not only to assert ambitious goals but, above all, to implement them, and that’s the whole challenge of COP22, which will kick off in Marrakesh in a few days’ time.


As I was saying, the body brings together five countries [each] from the southern and northern shores. Obviously, we discussed a lot of current issues, difficult issues. We discussed the fight against terrorism, of course, an issue common to our countries, the fight against Daesh [so-called ISIL], we also talked about Syria, the Sahel, the Middle East, the necessary dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and we devoted a significant amount of time to Libya, where we’re supporting the process involving Mr Sarraj’s Government of National Accord but where we know there’s a huge amount to do to succeed in bringing together all Libya’s forces and diversity. We also know that there’s a challenge in terms of Libyans having their own resources so they can develop, that there’s a security challenge and also a challenge related to immigration, in particular the despicable work of people-smugglers in the central Mediterranean, which is also the source of a lot of suffering.

Of course, we know so much remains to be done. The Tunisian minister proposed that we have a 5+5 meeting on Libya in this format soon, in Tunis; we agreed in principle to this, of course. And we also talked to [Mohamed] Taher Siala, Libya’s Foreign Minister, who provided us with extremely interesting insights into his country.


One topic was the migration crisis, because it’s one of the major common challenges we must tackle. Our challenge is not just to fight illegal immigration and rescue people at sea, but also to have an ambition for development. We’re not dealing with the migration issue solely from the point of view of borders and security—even though this must be done, we’re duty-bound—, we’re doing so in terms of development too. We recalled the decisions taken last year at the Valletta summit between Europe and Africa. The summit focused on immigration, but in particular adopted an ambitious action plan for populations suffering because of war, poverty and for climate reasons. So the development challenge was at the heart of our discussions.


We of course talked about young people, and have just had discussions with youngsters who, thanks to the Anna Lindh Foundation, had prepared their recommendations. These are ambitious recommendations, which include the training and mobility of young people—essential issues. Young people were at the heart of our concerns because we’re well aware that if young people from our countries, in the north and south, are given no hope, no prospects, then despair can set in and radical propaganda can thrive. And it’s our responsibility to provide the solution, or solutions—because there are many. But these solutions can’t happen without dialogue, which must be held not just with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean—which held its meeting with Michel Vauzelle here in Marseille—but also with representatives of civil society. We can’t build solely at the level of states, and COP21 and COP22 are there to show that there must be strong political will to move forward—that’s the role of governments, it’s the role of politicians in our democracies, and it’s also the role of local authorities, members of parliament, civil society, citizens, voluntary organizations and businesses. This is how we’ll restore hope, because our responsibility—and this is why we’re so committed to the 5+5 format—is to restore a bit of confidence and hope in the future. And in fact we believe there are many reasons for achieving this if we give ourselves the means, if we’re able to analyze the causes of the difficulties and if we know how to take on our responsibilities too. That’s why we’re so committed to this dialogue. This dialogue, which took place again today in Marseille, was productive and sincere, warm and friendly too, and this is also part and parcel of the 5+5 dialogue. Thank you. (...)

5. India - Bilateral relations - Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance - excerpts (Paris - October 28, 2016)

During his visit to India from 25 to 27 October 2016, M. Christophe Sirugue, Minister of State for Industry, discussed with his interlocutors economic relations with France and the development of the Franco-Indian industrial partnership. He also promoted France’s attractiveness to Indian investors.

During the visit to New Delhi, the Minister of State for Industry had a meeting with the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, and the Minister of Urban Development, Mr Venkaiah Naidu.

The agenda of the meetings includes the French offer on sustainable development, particularly in the areas of transport and energy. Indeed, developing smart cities of tomorrow which address the major environmental, digital and demographic challenges is one of the key objectives of the New Face of Industry in France and the Alliance for the Industry of the Future.

The Indian government is developing a policy of urban development based on the media concept of the «smart city». The program selects 100 cities making active efforts on sustainable development for a euro6-billion investment over five years, covering sectors related to sustainable development (transport, health, energy and waste management).

Another key objective of the meetings was Franco-Indian industrial partnerships, in the framework of the government program «Make in India». The Minister of State went to meet Indian and French businesses and investors.

Christophe Sirugue spoke to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France India on the theme «Why smart investors choose France», to promote the French marketplace to Indian investors.

As an operator of French official development assistance, the French Development Agency (AFD) has been present in India since 2008. The assistance, which amounts to euro300 million, is focused on railways (three metro systems), urban transport, water and urban sanitation, as well as renewable energy.

Christophe Sirugue’s visit comes after the state visit in January, organized on the occasion of India’s national festival (26 January), at which France was the guest of honor.

During his visit, M. Christophe Sirugue, Minister of State for Industry, went to Chennai to visit the Renault-Nissan factory, before visiting Saint-Gobain’s research center. (...)