Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign and European Spokesperson (Paris, December 24, 2008)

Declaration by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on the signing of a Joint Declaration on Human Rights with the Argentine Republic
United States / Guantanamo

Declaration by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on the signing of a Joint Declaration on Human Rights with the Argentine Republic

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union welcomes the signing on 19 December in Buenos Aires of a Joint Declaration on Human Rights by the European Union and the Argentine Republic.

On the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Union and the Argentine Republic wished to solemnly reaffirm their commitment to the universal respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms and to confirm their political will to act in close consultation in this field.

They have decided to strengthen their cooperation, notably within the international human rights forums. The European Union and Argentina will henceforth meet three times a year in Geneva, New York and Buenos Aires to hold in-depth consultations on these issues.

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union welcomes the strengthening of human rights cooperation with Argentina who has become a key player and an important European Union partner in the field of human rights.

 

United States / Guantanamo

Q - What is France’s position on closing Guantanamo and what should be done in this situation? Is France planning to welcome former Guantanamo prisoners on its soil? If so, under what conditions?

As noted in the conclusions of the United Nations Commission, the Guantanamo detention center must be closed. France, like its EU partners, emphasize this regularly to their American partners.

We hail the President-elect’s statements indicating his intention to close Guantanamo.

We also want to stress that in all circumstances, human rights, international humanitarian law and the right of refugees must be respected while conducting the necessary fight against terrorism.

Europeans must continue their cooperation on the principle and conditions for possibly welcoming Guantanamo detainees on European soil.

In any case, the Guantanamo prisoners must not be sent back to their countries of origin if they risk being persecuted there./.