Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [Apr. 18, 2023]

Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [Apr. 18, 2023]

Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [Apr. 18, 2023]

Japan – Meeting between Catherine Colonna and her Japanese counterpart (Apr. 18, 2023)

Following the meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Karuizawa, Nagano, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna met with her Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi, in Tokyo.

The Minister warmly thanked Mr. Hayashi for the Japanese presidency’s extraordinary hospitality and the high caliber of discussions, which underscored our countries’ shared views on leading international challenges.

She applauded the vitality of our two countries’ exceptional partnership, which is marking its 10th anniversary this year. She stressed the ambitiousness of the new roadmap for bilateral cooperation between France and Japan for 2023-2027 in the areas of political and economic relations and person-to-person exchanges, as well as security and defense.

The two ministers fully agreed on the need to promote respect for an international order based on the rule of law. They agreed on the importance of continuing to support Ukraine against the Russian aggression and of working together to keep the Indo-Pacific region free, open and inclusive. With regard to Taiwan, the Minister reaffirmed France’s steadfast support for peace and stability in the Strait and our opposition to any unilateral changes in the status quo.

Guinea – Visit by Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (Apr. 18-20, 2023)

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will be in Guinea from April 18 to 20.

She will meet with transitional authorities as well as representatives of political parties and civil society to discuss the transition process that is currently under way and which should restore the democratic, constitutional order in accordance with the political framework established in agreement with ECOWAS.

During her visit, she will reiterate France’s desire to support this transition – as well as the electoral process – until its conclusion, in consultation with Guinea’s other international partners, including the EU and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, with whom she will meet.

Ms. Zacharopoulou will reaffirm France’s commitment to continue working with the Guinean people in the areas of infrastructure (water and electricity), education, health and counterterrorism. She will visit the Pasteur Institute in Guinea, which exemplifies the magnitude of French-Guinean cooperation in science and health. She will also meet with the local French community.

Yemen – Arrival of a ship carrying 30,000 tons of Ukrainian grain (Apr. 18, 2023)

As announced at the Donors’ Conference for Yemen this past March, France contributed to a World Food Programme (WFP) operation in that country. A ship carrying 30,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat arrived in the port of Hudaydah, Yemen, on April 17. This delivery will help four million people.

France calls on all stakeholders in Yemen, and particularly the Houthis, to facilitate access to this grain and ensure its transparent, equitable distribution.

This operation, which is part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, illustrates France’s commitment to the fight against global food insecurity and malnutrition, which have been exacerbated by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

International Seabed Authority Council – France calls for expanding the coalition against deep-sea mining

Part I of the 28th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) Council concluded on March 31 in Jamaica. On that occasion, France spoke on behalf of 13 States, issuing a call to form a broad coalition of nations to oppose deep-sea mining.

This 12-day Council meeting was held in Kingston, Jamaica, from March 16 to 31. At this meeting, France reaffirmed its total opposition to deep-sea mining. Seabeds play a major, critical role in regulating the climate, and the destruction of their ecosystems could have significant repercussions on the global carbon cycle.

France therefore issued a call on behalf of 13 nations in a declaration titled “Calling for a partnership for the Deep Sea.” The declaration stresses that scientific knowledge of deep-sea ecosystems is still far too inadequate to consider mining, which presents a risk of irreversible damage. It was supported by five other delegations to the Council.

This position is consistent with the statements President Macron issued last November at the Sharm el-Sheik Climate Change Conference (COP27), which led to the strong commitments adopted at the One Ocean Summit in Brest in light of major concerns relating to the urgent need to protect the oceans.

The ISA Council also provided an opportunity for four working groups (financial clauses of exploitation contracts, protection of the marine environment, inspection and compliance, and institutional matters) to discuss every aspect of the mining code. The French delegation worked actively with the other delegations to strengthen environmental requirements.

As for the two-year rule which is expiring in July, the Council reached a consensus on the idea that a plan of work should not be approved automatically by the Council after July 9, and that mining should not begin without a complete set of exploitation regulations that offer sufficient environmental protections and guarantee the equitable sharing of financial and non-financial benefits for developing nations.


Does France have any comment on the arrest of Rached Ghannouchi?

We learned of this new arrest, which is part of a wave of troubling arrests.

France reaffirms its commitment to free expression and respect for the rule of law. We call on the Tunisian authorities to respect the independence of the judiciary and the rights of the defense.

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