Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [Mar. 9, 2023]

Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [Mar. 9, 2023]

Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [Mar. 9, 2023]

Togo – Conversation between Catherine Colonna and her Togolese counterpart (Mar. 9, 2023)

Today, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna spoke with Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad.

Minister Colonna discussed with her counterpart possibilities for strengthening the partnership between France and Togo, especially with regards to economic investments and support for Togo’s development and security strategies. They also shared their understanding of the regional situation.

Catherine Colonna expressed France’s support for regional initiatives on peace, security and development. She also recalled France’s continued engagement, which is part of our partnership’s new, balanced, reciprocal and responsible dynamic, per the announcement made by President Macron in his speech on February 27.

Ukraine – Massive new Russian missile strikes (Mar. 9, 2023)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the new severe missile strikes carried out by Russia last night in numerous regions of Ukraine, leaving civilian casualties, according to initial reports by the Ukrainian authorities.

These strikes have once again deliberately targeted residential buildings and civilian infrastructure, namely energy infrastructure. France was troubled by news that the Zaporizhzhia plant had been cut off from the Ukrainian power grid once again as a result of these strikes. This kind of systematic targeting highlights Russia’s clear desire to continue escalating its war of aggression in Ukraine, which was once again condemned by an overwhelming majority of the international community at the UN General Assembly on February 23.

These unacceptable acts constitute war crimes and cannot go unpunished. They create an unacceptable risk for nuclear security and safety in Ukraine. France will continue to stand by the Ukrainian courts and the International Criminal Court in combating impunity for such crimes. It will also continue its military and civilian support in order to strengthen Ukraine’s resilience for as long as necessary. France will continue to back the IAEA’s work in support of nuclear security and safety in Ukraine and, in particular, the efforts of its Director General to establish a security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant, with due respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Israel/Palestinian Territories – Situation in the West Bank (Mar. 9, 2023)

France expresses its serious concern following the Israeli operation that took place in Jenin last Tuesday, which left at least six Palestinians dead and many injured, bringing the Palestinian death count in the West Bank to over 70 in 2023. France reiterates its call for the Israeli government to protect Palestinian civilians, in keeping with the international obligations incumbent upon it as an occupying power.

France urgently calls on the parties to honor the commitments that they made at the meeting in Aqaba on February 26 and to implement the measures requested by the UN Security Council on February 20, in particular those related to ending all violence against civilians.

Given this situation, it is all the more urgent that the political prospect of a two-state solution be revived, with both states living side by side in peace and security. This is the only way to guarantee Israelis and Palestinians a just and lasting peace. France condemns any violence against civilians.

Afghanistan – France sends humanitarian aid to the Afghan people (Mar. 9, 2023)

The Crisis and Support Center (CDCS) at France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan via a humanitarian airlift organized by the EU. The first aircraft took off from Billund, Denmark, and arrived in Kabul yesterday.

The cargo includes 23 tons of nutritional products donated by Nutriset for children suffering from malnutrition. The NGO Chaîne de l’Espoir will deliver these products to the Nutrition Unit at the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (IMFE) in Kabul. France applauds the role played by the European Commission in organizing this operation, which offers a concrete demonstration of European solidarity with regard to humanitarian aid.

France stands – and will continue to stand – with the men and women of Afghanistan, with whom we reaffirm our absolute solidarity.

Democratic Republic of the Congo – French humanitarian contribution of €34 million and emergency delivery to Goma in partnership with the EU (Mar. 9, 2023)

France is sending assistance to the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in response to the humanitarian emergency in Goma and its surrounding areas, in line with commitments made by President Macron.

We are mobilizing €34 million in humanitarian aid, €20 million of which will be dedicated to meeting the essential needs of the most vulnerable populations in Goma and its surrounding areas. These include access to water and sanitation, food security and nutrition, the fight against maternal and infant mortality, and assistance to displaced persons. This aid will be deployed by the UN and nongovernmental organizations working on the ground.

Additionally, the Crisis and Support Center (CDCS) at France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is coordinating the emergency aid shipment to be delivered by the first aircraft in the civilian airlift organized by the EU. It will be taking off from Denmark today. This aircraft will carry some 20 tons of French humanitarian aid as well as 20 tons of medical supplies donated by UNICEF.

Our shipment consists of emergency shelters from the CDCS – 400 family tents accommodating 2,000 people and 400 hygiene kits – as well as nearly 2.5 tons of medications donated by the Tulipe association.

This assistance is a way for France and the EU to reaffirm our solidarity with the DRC. As the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, France calls on all parties, and especially the M23, to abide by their commitments and strictly respect the ceasefire. It reaffirms its commitment to the DRC’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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