Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - July 16, 2018)
• Pakistan – Attacks (July 11-14, 2018)
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will give a speech today, July 16, on the occasion of the “Journées du réseau de coopération et d’action culturelle” (“Days of the Cooperation and Cultural Action Network”), an annual event that takes place on July 16-17 in Paris.
Mr. Le Drian will underscore the crucial role played by soft diplomacy in our efforts to promote a world order based on the rule of law, multilateralism, and respect for cultural diversity. He will highlight the vital missions of the Cooperation and Cultural Action Network, which serves our national interests in a context of growing international competition.
This event will facilitate discussions on the reconfigurations taking place in the cultural network, which must be constantly adapting. Three soft diplomacy priorities will also be discussed: the strategy of expanding the teaching of French and in French, as part of the “French language and multilingualism” plan; support for cultural and creative industries; and renewing France’s policy of development and international solidarity, launched at the last interministerial committee for international cooperation and development.
France condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks committed on July 11, 12, 13, and 14 in Pakistan. These were especially cowardly attacks that targeted civilian populations in the period leading up to the elections, and their tragic toll surpassed 150.
We offer our condolences to the victims’ families and to the Pakistani people and authorities.
France assures Pakistan of its solidarity in the fight against terrorism.
As the country prepares to go to the polls on July 25, France is convinced that Pakistani voters, who have always shown great courage, will not allow themselves to be intimidated and will exercise their democratic rights.
France condemns the attacks carried out in recent days by police and paramilitary units against religious figures and peaceful demonstrators, particularly students.
It calls for an immediate halt to the violence, which has left several hundred dead in the past three months. As the European Union has just reiterated, it is the primary responsibility of the government to guarantee the population’s security and respect for fundamental rights.
France renews its call for the resumption of the national dialogue process to create conditions for a peaceful, negotiated end to the crisis.
We ask the Nicaraguan authorities to end this crackdown and to concretely implement their commitment to dialogue.