Ukraine – Catherine Colonna’s participation in the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London (June 21, 2023)
Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London on June 21, jointly organized by the United Kingdom and Ukraine. The main goal of the conference is to encourage private stakeholders to get involved in the country’s reconstruction. The Minister will be accompanied by Pierre Heilbronn, France’s Special Envoy for Ukraine’s relief and reconstruction.
Our medium- and long-term support efforts build on the humanitarian, economic, diplomatic and military aid that France has been providing to Ukraine since February 24, 2022.
The Minister will confirm France’s willingness to support Ukraine for as long as necessary in the face of the Russian aggression. We are ready to respond to Ukraine’s humanitarian needs, as demonstrated once again by the recent aid provided in the wake of the Kakhovka dam’s destruction. The Minister will also confirm an increase in the resources devoted to the stabilization and reconstruction of Ukraine, through contributions to priority projects for the country and by developing instruments likely to facilitate the mobilization of French economic players in this long-term effort.
Qatar – United Arab Emirates – Resumption of diplomatic relations (June 20, 2023)
France welcomes the reciprocal reopening of the Qatari and Emirati embassies. Both of these countries are France’s allies and strategic partners. 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. That is a priority that France supports and will continue to promote with its regional partners, particularly within the Baghdad format on regional cooperation. France is working with its partners on holding the third conference in this format by the end of the year.
Ukraine – Condemnation of Russian strikes against Ukraine (June 20, 2023)
France utterly condemns the new wave of Russian drone and missile strikes that targeted several Ukrainian regions in the early hours of June 20.
These strikes, which involved Shahed drones and ballistic missiles, once again deliberately targeted civilian infrastructures and residential buildings in the Kiev, Lviv and Zaporizhzhia regions in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
As Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna has repeatedly stressed, these unacceptable acts constitute war crimes and cannot go unpunished. Working closely with its allies, France will continue to provide military support to Ukraine to help it strengthen its air defense capabilities, and to lend support to the Ukrainian courts to combat impunity for such crimes.
Israel/Palestinian Territories – Violence in Jenin (June 19, 2023)
France expresses its deep concern following clashes on June 19 during an Israeli army operation in Jenin that left at least six dead and many injured. It offers its condolences to the families of the civilian victims. It once again reiterates Israel’s obligation to abide by international humanitarian law, use proportionate force and ensure the imperative protection of civilians in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
As the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs emphasized alongside her German, Jordanian and Egyptian counterparts on May 11 in Berlin, there is an urgent need to reestablish a realistic horizon to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution with both states living side by side in peace and security, the only solution capable of establishing a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. France calls on Israel to keep the commitments it made in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheik.
Can you confirm that a French citizen, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, an expert on the Titanic, was one of the people who disappeared aboard a submersible on Sunday in the waters of the North Atlantic? Have French consular authorities in the United States or Canada been in contact with the submersible’s crew or with Mr. Nargeolet’s family?
At this stage we are unable to confirm this information, and we are monitoring developments in this situation very closely, together with the relevant authorities.
On June 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin showed African leaders who are part of an African Ukraine-Russia peace mission a draft agreement with Ukraine that was drawn up in March 2022 in Istanbul. It stipulated Ukraine’s permanent neutrality and security guarantees for Kyiv. France, as well as the United Kingdom, China and the United States, were named as guarantor countries. Has France been able to consult this document? Would it agree to act as a guarantor country?
Yesterday Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna told her South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, that any effort to achieve a just and lasting peace that respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty would be welcome.
As President Macron emphasized at the last G7 summit and at the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum, peace cannot mean a simple ceasefire that enshrines the current situation, re-creating a frozen conflict. Any peace proposal must respect international law and be chosen by the victims of the aggression: the Ukrainian people.
It is particularly cynical of Russia to claim that it is championing peace while bombing Kyiv, just as a mission composed of African representatives and heads of state is meeting with Ukrainian authorities to discuss this issue.