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Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, April 16, 2015)

Published on March 16, 2015

European Union – Meeting between Mr. Harlem Désir and his Italian, German and Slovak counterparts (Italy, April 17, 2015)

Mr. Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will visit Cesena tomorrow, at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Mr. Sandro Gozi. His German and Slovak counterparts, Mr. Roth and Mr. Javorcik, are also expected to attend the meeting.

Mr. Désir will have detailed discussions with his counterparts on key European issues: economic governance in the euro zone, the European response to the problem of migration following the most recent tragedy off the coast of Italy on Sunday, the implementation of the European investment support project, and the situation in Greece.


Development – Central African Republic – Ms. Girardin’s participation in the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (Washington, April 16 to 19, 2015)

Ms. Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will visit Washington from April 16 to 19 for the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

She will meet with the heads of the World Bank and will participate in several ministerial meetings on universal social security coverage, assistance for the countries affected by Ebola and climate issues. Ms. Girardin will reaffirm the need for solidarity-based development, which will benefit the most vulnerable people, and the need to better coordinate the fight against poverty and the fight against climate disruption, with all stakeholders concerned.

Ms. Annick Girardin will chair a meeting at the World Bank focusing on the transition process in the Central African Republic in the presence of Ms. Limbio, Minister of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation and Mr. Kadre, Minister of Finance and Budget. She will argue in favor of continued international mobilization and funding for the reconstruction of the country.


Vietnam – Economic diplomacy – Visit by Mr. Matthias Fekl (April 14 and 15, 2015)

Mr. Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, visited Vietnam from April 14 to 15. He attended the signing of an agreement with BNP Paribas to finance five of the 62 Airbus A 320/A321 aircraft ordered by the airline VietJet Air for $60 million.

Mr. Fekl visited the headquarters of VietJet Air in Ho Chi Minh City with Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vice Chairwoman and CEO of the airline. They welcomed the contribution of French and European companies Airbus and Safran to the airline’s exceptional development. Further collaboration between our two countries was also discussed, notably with ATR.


Mali – Attack on the MINUSMA camp in Ansongo (April 15)

France condemns the April 15th attack on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in Ansongo, in the Gao region, which killed three civilians and injured 16 others, including nine Nigerian MINUSMA peacekeepers.

We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and to the Malian authorities.

France fully supports MINUSMA and its stabilization mission in Mali. In order to restore stability in the long term, we call on those parties involved in the inter-Malian negotiations that have not yet done so to swiftly initial the peace and reconciliation agreement.


Disarmament - Transparency – Opening of the Luxeuil airbase – Joint communiqué by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Ministry of Defense (Luxeuil, April 16)

As part of its efforts to promote transparency in the disarmament arena, today France opened up airbase 116 at Luxeuil in Haute-Saône. Representatives from some 50 nations and international organizations visited the former nuclear munitions depots at this base as well as the former Lafayette fighter squadron facilities. They were able to note the concrete effects of France’s 2008 decision to scale down its airborne nuclear component by one-third.

Announced by President Hollande at Istres on February 19, this visit is France’s latest effort to serve as an example when it comes to transparency. On this occasion, President Hollande called on all nations with nuclear weapons to make the same effort and expressed his hope that these visits would “inspire other nuclear powers to organize visits that our experts will be able to attend.”

As far back as 2008, France opened its former facilities for the production of fissile material used in nuclear weapons at Pierrelatte and Marcoule to more than 40 representatives of nations belonging to the Conference on Disarmament, and in 2009 to some 20 nongovernmental experts and 20 French and foreign journalists. France was the first nuclear weapons state to take such a measure with respect to transparency.


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