Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [May 16, 2023]

Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [May 16, 2023]

Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson [May 16, 2023]

Cambodia – France deplores the exclusion of the main opposition party from the upcoming legislative elections (May 16, 2023)

France deplores the refusal by Cambodia’s National Election Committee to register the Candlelight Party, the main opposition party, ahead of the general elections scheduled for July 23. This development is a troubling signal that undermines the democratic nature of the vote.

France calls on the appropriate authorities to take the necessary measures to allow the Candlelight Party to participate in this important democratic exercise. As the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy emphasized, we will continue to call for the holding of free, transparent, pluralistic elections in accordance with the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements and the Cambodian Constitution.

Ukraine – New Russian air strikes (May 16, 2023)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the high-intensity missile and drone strikes that again targeted the Ukrainian capital last night.

These strikes once again deliberately targeted civilian objectives in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. They underscore Russia’s desire to continue escalating its war of aggression against Ukraine.

As Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna has stressed repeatedly, these unacceptable actions are war crimes and cannot go unpunished. France will continue to provide support to Ukrainian courts and to the International Criminal Court to combat impunity for such crimes.

As President Macron reiterated yesterday evening, France will continue to provide military and humanitarian assistance to help Ukraine resist this illegal aggression.

Higher education – Launch of first World Alumni Day

At the behest of Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, the Campus France agency and the entire diplomatic network are organizing the first World Alumni Day for students who attended French universities, a valuable connection to France in their own countries. With more than 120 events taking place worldwide from May 13 to 28, France Alumni Day celebrates the exceptional diversity of France-educated talents and their achievements on five continents.

In Paris, an event at the Quai d’Orsay on May 23 will bring together alumni with exceptional career paths; it will be attended by Olivier Becht, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Different events held around the world will highlight the variety of alumni career paths, especially those of former French government scholarship recipients, and the importance of their studies in France to their professional lives. This initiative will showcase the strength of the France Alumni network launched in 2014 which now has more than 370,000 members from around the world.

It also emphasizes the appeal and excellence of higher education and research in France, which is reflected by international ratings such as the 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as the Shanghai Ranking, in which France holds third place for the third consecutive year due to the number of establishments included among the top 50: Université Paris-Saclay (16th), Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, or PSL (40th) and the Sorbonne (43rd).

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