Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign and European Spokesperson (Paris, September 15, 2010)

Burma/ Dissolution of the NLD
Middle East
Guinea
Sudan

Burma/ Dissolution of the NLD

The dissolution of Aun San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, was officially announced by the junta on September 14. This profoundly shocking situation is the consequence of the implementation of the unjust electoral laws promulgated in March.

Following this promulgation Bernard Kouchner expressed France’s utter condemnation of this legislation which does not create the conditions for a process that is open to all political stakeholders. Quite obviously, the conditions that would allow the November 7 elections to be considered democratic and credible have not been fulfilled.

We strongly condemn the fact that our appeals for dialogue with the opposition have not been heard by the junta, while these elections should have been the first electoral and democratic event anticipated by the Burmese people in 20 years.

France continues to support the democratic movement in Burma, all those that are striving for national reconciliation and respect for human rights. Our concerns will be reaffirmed in the resolution that will soon be presented by the European Union at the UN General Assembly.  

We renew our demand for the release of all political prisoners, including Aun San Suu Kyi, in the interest of national reconciliation in Burma.

Middle East

In what way would France like the Quartet and Europe to be involved in the direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, under the auspices of the United States, as Bernard Kouchner indicated to the Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday? Has the American administration been approached to that effect?

Bernard Kouchner has repeatedly underlined that the European Union should not only be a financial contributor but should also play a leading political role. With this objective in mind, Bernard Kouchner wrote to Catherine Ashton and brought the matter to the attention of his EU counterparts at their informal meeting (Gymnich) in Brussels on September 10 and 11.

We are in regular contact with the American administration, our European partners and the other members of the Quartet regarding these issues. Bernard Kouchner spoke on the telephone a few days ago with George Mitchell, U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

We will continue to take action in this direction based on the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council on December 8, 2009, reaffirmed by the European Council in June 2010, in accordance with the European Union’s active participation in the Quartet.

The time is long overdue for the European Union to finally play a leading political role in the peace talks alongside the United States, whose commitment it supports, and alongside the Israeli and Palestinian parties.

Guinea

Is France, like General Sékouba Konaté, in favor of maintaining the date of Sunday, September 19 for the second round of the presidential elections in Guinea?

As we’ve repeatedly stated, France would like the second round of the presidential elections to be conducted in the same spirit of democracy and calm that prevailed in the first round.

It is up to the Guinean authorities to decide on the date of the second round, in consultation with all of the stakeholders on the Guinean political stage.

As Bernard Kouchner reaffirmed, France remains, together with Guinea’s other partners, determined to do the utmost to help the Guineans successfully conclude this historic process.

Sudan

Do you share the grave concerns expressed yesterday by the American Department of State regarding the threats hanging over the organization of the referendum on Southern Sudan in January?

France is closely monitoring the preparations for the referendum on self-determination in Southern Sudan, scheduled for January 9, 2011, which is a fundamental milestone in terms of implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005 between the Khartoum government and the SPLM.

It urges the parties to continue their dialogue within the framework of the various joint committees that they have established so that this referendum can be held under the best possible conditions and in accordance with the provisions of the peace agreement.