Bosnia-Herzegovina – Visit by Laurence Boone (Mar. 6-7, 2023)
Laurence Boone, Minister of State for Europe, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 6 and 7. This visit reflects France’s ongoing engagement in the Western Balkans amid the region’s rapprochement with the European Union. It also follows the granting of EU candidate status to Bosnia-Herzegovina. That decision, taken unanimously by the EU’s 27 members on December 15, sends a strong message to the Bosnian people, reminding them of our shared destiny on the European continent.
During her visit, the Minister will meet with political authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and will encourage them to swiftly implement the reforms that are essential to EU membership. She will express France’s support for that process as well as our desire to quickly sign the intergovernmental agreement on French Development Agency (AFD) activities, which will actively contribute to deepening our bilateral relationship and to the implementation of the European reform and economic development agenda.
Ms. Boone will also meet with Sarajevo Mayor Benjamina Karić, parliamentarians, civil society representatives and young people to discuss challenges connected with the country’s European integration. She will pay tribute to the French soldiers who gave their lives for their commitment to peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina, on behalf of France, as part of the French contingent in the EU’s Operation Althea.
French nationals abroad – Legislative by-elections (Apr. 2023)
Following the French Constitutional Court’s cancellation of the June 2022 legislative elections in the 2nd, 8th and 9th districts for French nationals residing outside of France, special elections will be held in those three districts:
- The first round will be held on April 1 and 2 (Saturday, April 1 in the 2nd district)
- The second round will be held on April 15 and 16 (Saturday, April 15 in the 2nd district).
These elections affect some 340,000 French nationals abroad who are registered with our consulates in the countries covered by those three districts.
Voting in person: 111 polling places will be open in these three districts.
For Internet voting, the online portal will be open as follows:
- For the first round: from Friday, March 24 at noon, Paris time, to Wednesday, March 29 at noon, Paris time.
- For the second round: from Friday, April 7 at noon, Paris time, to Wednesday, April 12 at noon, Paris time.
Various measures have been taken to facilitate Internet voting, particularly with regard to passwords sent by text for those who wish to vote online. They include:
- a campaign reminding voters to verify and update their registration information as well as the correct format of their phone number
- a message to all voters to make them aware of potential difficulties relating to receiving text messages containing passwords to access the voting portal
- stepped-up online assistance between March 17 and 29 for the first round, and between April 4 and 12 for the second round, to assist voters prior to the opening of the portal who have not received their login or password. To access this online assistance, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bangladesh – Fire at Rohingya refugee camp (Mar. 5, 2023)
France expresses its solidarity with the Rohingyas following the fire at a refugee camp in southeastern Bangladesh that left some 12,000 people homeless.
France will continue its humanitarian effort to assist displaced persons and refugees. It requests unhindered humanitarian access to vulnerable populations. It commends Bangladesh, which has consistently shown its solidarity by harboring hundreds of thousands of people on its soil.
Yemen – Donors’ Conference for Yemen (Mar. 6, 2023)
France will step up its humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni population with a contribution of nearly €23 million in 2023.
France is concerned by the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen – a direct consequence of the war that has continued for eight years and an armed group that is responsible for a reign of terror in the country, namely the Houthis. The humanitarian situation there has been further aggravated by the Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Against this backdrop, France is working to meet the immediate needs of the Yemeni people in the areas of health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation through its support for the UN, the ICRC and several French and international NGOs.
Only a comprehensive, inclusive political solution will bring an end to this war and this humanitarian crisis. France therefore fully supports the efforts by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen to promote dialogue between the various Yemeni and regional stakeholders – whose involvement is commendable – and to bring an end to this conflict.
France calls for maintaining the conditions in place to provide humanitarian aid to Yemen, which are under serious attack. The Houthis’ restrictions on UN and humanitarian personnel must end, including those relating to female humanitarian workers who are forced to be accompanied by male guardians. France calls on the Houthis to respect women’s rights, and specifically those of the women engaged in the humanitarian effort.
Do you have any comment on the fatal incident that occurred on Sunday not far from the Lachin Corridor?
We deplore the deaths caused by the serious incident on March 5 in which a vehicle carrying police officers near the Lachin Corridor was fired upon by Azerbaijani forces in the area under the control of Russian peacekeeping forces.
This incident must be fully investigated. We also call on the parties to strictly respect the ceasefire.