Indonesia – Conversation between Catherine Colonna and her counterpart, Retno Marsudi (July 21, 2023)
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna met today with her Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, ahead of the French-Indonesian political and military consultations at the ministerial level in the 2+2 format.
The two ministers welcomed the launch of this format, which our countries reserve for their closest partners, and which Indonesia had previously used only with Japan and Australia. It reflects a new ambition for the France-Indonesia strategic partnership signed in 2011, based on a shared commitment to strategic autonomy. The ministers expressed their desire to deepen bilateral cooperation in every area.
Ms. Colonna reiterated France’s support, within the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), for the actions Indonesia has taken to achieve its goal of climate neutrality. She reiterated France’s support for Indonesia’s application to join the Financial Action Task Force (GAFI) and hailed the Indonesian wish to join the OECD.
The ministers expressed the importance of abiding by international law, based on the United Nations Charter, and particularly the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
They emphasized the similarity of French and Indonesian visions of the Indo-Pacific, which correspond more broadly to the EU’s strategy and ASEAN’s vision of the Indo-Pacific. They decided to step up French-Indonesian cooperation in that region, both bilaterally and with third countries, and within the framework of regional organizations. The French Minister shared France’s desire to strengthen its development partnership with ASEAN, thanked Indonesia for its support, and commended the work achieved by the organization’s Indonesian presidency. The two ministers agreed on the benefits of coordinating further within the Indian Ocean Rim Association and in the Pacific with a view to implementing the Pacific Islands Forum’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
Austria – Visit by Laurence Boone, Minister of State for Europe, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (July 24-25, 2023)
Laurence Boone, Minister of State for Europe, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will be in Vienna on July 24 and 25.
There she will meet with her counterpart, Federal Minister for the EU Karoline Edtstadler. She will also meet with Federal Minister for Labor and Economy Martin Kocher to discuss the challenges facing Europe in the areas of economic security and industrial and energy sovereignty.
Ms. Boone will visit the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien), a member of the ENGAGE.EU alliance, to discuss the challenges presented by upcoming transformations in the EU. She will also visit Valneva, a French-Austrian company focused on the development and marketing of vaccines. Lastly, the Minister of State will moderate a session on the fight against disinformation attended by experts from the new German-Austrian Digital Media Observatory (GADMO), a member of the European EDMO network dedicated to fact-checking and combating fake news.
Myanmar – France welcomes the EU’s adoption of a seventh round of sanctions against the military regime (July 20, 2023)
France welcomes the adoption by the EU Foreign Affairs Council of a seventh round of sanctions against six military officials in Myanmar and a state-owned company that colludes in the repression of the population. Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna took part in that meeting. This decision comes in response to the ongoing violence perpetrated by the regime and the steady increase in restrictions targeting international humanitarian workers. With this latest package, sanctions now apply to 99 individuals and 19 economic entities.
France reiterates its call for the immediate, unconditional release of all individuals who are being arbitrarily detained, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. It calls for a halt to the violence perpetrated by Myanmar security forces against civilian populations and infrastructure and emphasizes that it must be possible to deliver humanitarian aid safely, unhindered and in full throughout the country, in accordance with humanitarian principles.
France reaffirms its support for ASEAN’s central role in the resolution of the conflict in Myanmar and hails the efforts by the organization’s Indonesian presidency to implement the Five-Point Consensus, which is the principal mechanism for ending the crisis.
Iran – Adoption of new sanctions by the EU Foreign Affairs Council (July 20, 2023)
On July 20, the EU Foreign Affairs Council, attended by Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, adopted new autonomous sanctions specifically targeting Iran’s military support for the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
We call on Iran to end its exports [to Russia], which threaten European security, contribute to indiscriminate attacks against civilian populations and are contrary to its obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015).
With regard to the desecration of copies of the Koran in Sweden, has France issued a message of solidarity with the Swedish government?
Does France believe that the desecration of the Koran gives Turkish President Erdoğan a legitimate right to threaten to block Sweden’s NATO membership, even though the principles of democracy, which each Alliance member is bound to respect, should not permit one member to meddle in the democratic internal affairs of another?
With regard to our solidarity with the Swedish government, we refer you to the statement we issued yesterday following the attack on the Swedish Embassy in Iraq.
As for Sweden’s NATO membership, France commended Turkey’s announcement of its intention to ratify the accession protocol for Sweden to join NATO and is now calling on the Turkish Parliament to ratify it without undue delay.
It is a matter of strengthening our alliance and thus the security of each of its members.
On the subject of whaling: Today in Danish waters, off the coast of the Faroe Islands, a vessel belonging to an NGO opposed to whaling was chased by up to six Danish naval vessels. Does France believe that maintaining whaling justifies the use of so many resources?
France supports the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling and opposes scientific whaling.