Ecuador – Earthquake (Mar. 20, 2023)
France offers its condolences to the families of the victims of the earthquake that struck Ecuador, leaving roughly fifteen people dead and hundreds more injured. Sadly, one person also died in Peru.
France stands with Ecuador and Peru and expresses its solidarity with the Ecuadorian and Peruvian authorities and people.
European Union – Donors’ Conference for Turkey and Syria (Mar. 20, 2023)
Following the February 6, 2023, earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria, France is increasing aid to the Turkish and Syrian people, with a contribution totaling €35 million. Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna announced this contribution today in Brussels. Thanks to the efforts of the UN, this aid will make it possible to respond to Turkey’s urgent needs and early recovery needs, as well as the fundamental needs of the people impacted by the earthquake in Syria, in particular, internally displaced persons, women and children.
At the request of President Macron, France immediately took action the day following the disaster, providing assistance and medical care to those impacted in Turkey and Syria, in coordination with France’s European partners in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EU CPM).
Two civil security detachments and one Crisis and Support Center team were dispatched to the disaster areas in Turkey. Then, a field hospital was set up on site with 87 doctors and nurses as part of the emergency medical assistance. The cities and regions of France also mobilized significant efforts in support of the Turkish people. Working with our European partners, the French Development Agency (AFD) will also provide additional reconstruction assistance in the areas of Turkey that have been destroyed.
In the days immediately following the earthquake, France worked with NGOs and the UN to provide emergency assistance to all the disaster areas in Syria. These efforts made it possible to meet urgent needs with regards to healthcare, shelter, water, hygiene, sanitation and food security.
In these difficult times, the Turkish and Syrian people can continue to count on the support of France and the EU.
Francophonie – International Francophonie Day (Mar. 20, 2023)
On the occasion of International Francophonie Day, France reaffirms its commitment to promoting the French language and highlighting all francophone cultures throughout the world. The same goes for the values of openness, solidarity and respect for diversity, which will be celebrated at the 19th Francophonie Summit, which France will be hosting in 2024, in close coordination with the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).
The President of France has made the global status and role of the French language one of the priorities of his two five-year terms.
As Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna reminded us yesterday, Francophonie is a priority for French diplomacy. The French language and francophone cultures serve as a way to communicate and work across the planet and allow us to view the world through a rich and varied lens.
Today, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, visited the Alliance Française of Paris to meet with young students and university students, some of whom are Ukrainian, to discuss the opportunities afforded them by learning the French language.
The French Language and Francophonie Week, which was organized with support from the OIF and the OIF Secretary General, Louise Mushikiwabo, is being held from March 18-26. This year, the week is dedicated to francophone arts on all five continents, with many events planned throughout the world by the French cultural and cooperation network and partners.
Serbia/ Kosovo – Agreement in Ohrid (Mar. 18, 2023)
Following the March 18th meeting in Ohrid, North Macedonia, which was hosted by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Serbia and Kosovo agreed on the implementation of the EU-backed agreement to normalize relations between the two countries.
This represents significant progress for the stability of the Western Balkans and the security of the European continent. It also bolsters both countries’ EU membership prospects, thanks to the European mediation efforts, in close coordination with the United States and host country North Macedonia, not to mention both parties’ spirit of responsibility. France also played an important role in this process. The President of France and the Minister spoke with Prime Minister Kurti and President Vučić together with Chancellor Scholz on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
France strongly encourages the two parties to act responsibly by immediately beginning to fulfill all of their obligations under this agreement in good faith. Henceforth, this constitutes an integral part of their commitments with regards to their respective European perspectives. France will continue to mobilize efforts to support the European mediation until a comprehensive, definitive and legally binding agreement is reached.