Hungary – Visit by Laurence Boone (Apr. 20-21, 2023)
Laurence Boone, Minister of State for Europe, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will be visiting Hungary on April 20 and 21.
During her visit, she will meet with her Hungarian counterpart, Minister for Justice Judit Varga, who is also in charge of EU Affairs, and Tibor Navracsics, Minister for Regional Development, who is in charge of Hungary’s EU funding.
With her interlocutors, the Minister will raise issues relating to the rule of law and the conditionality mechanism triggered against Hungary, reminding them of France’s commitment to compliance with the fundamental values and principles inherent to the rule of law. She will also emphasize the importance of EU unity in the face of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Ms. Boone will also discuss the upcoming European Political Community Summit to be held in Moldova, the Hungarian presidency of the European Union Council in the second half of 2024, and several other major issues for Europe, particularly energy, economic governance, European competitiveness and the revision of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework.
She will also take part in a lecture/discussion at Budapest’s Corvinus University, where she will speak about “Europe as a power space and the democratic challenge.” In addition, she will meet with representatives of civil society and associations, particularly those working for LGBT+ rights.
Qatar/ Bahrain / United Arab Emirates – Resumption of diplomatic relations (Apr. 19, 2023)
France welcomes the announcement that Qatar and Bahrain have resumed diplomatic relations and reopened the embassies between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. We commend the role played by the Gulf Cooperation Council in this regard.
The resumption of diplomatic relations between these countries is an important step toward strengthening regional security and stability in the Gulf, a priority that France supports and will continue to foster, together with its regional partners, especially within the “Baghdad format” designed to promote cooperation and security in the Gulf.
How do you explain the lengthy detention, in London, of a manager from Editions La Fabrique, who was arrested on April 17 when he got off the Eurostar on his way to attend the London book fair? He was detained with no access to a lawyer under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000. The British police reportedly made reference to his participation in demonstrations in France.
He had previously been subjected to extensive security checks by British and French border police at the Gare du Nord, which caused him to miss his train and forced him to wait for the next one.
Is his work as a publisher at issue?
Is participation in demonstrations in France reported to foreign police?
We learned of Ernest Moret’s arrest in the United Kingdom and his subsequent release. While he was being detained, the Embassy prepared to exercise its right to provide consular protection under the usual rules. As for the reasons that led to this situation, we have no information to provide and no comment.
Is France preparing to evacuate its citizens and those of other European countries from Sudan?
Our priority is the safety of our citizens and the protection of our diplomatic and consular personnel and facilities. Working closely with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Center, which opened a crisis unit in Paris on April 17 and is in touch, individually, with all of our citizens on the ground, the Embassy of France is mobilizing all its efforts to ensure the safety of the French community. These instructions remain in effect in light of the continued fighting.
Together with all our partners, we remind the warring parties of their responsibility to protect civilians, including foreign nationals as well as diplomatic and consular facilities in accordance with international agreements. In this regard, we urge both parties to stop the fighting immediately, as the Minister stated at the G7, and as the G7 stated yesterday. We ask the warring parties to accept a humanitarian truce for Eid.