Catherine Colonna participating in the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Jan. 23, 2023)
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna is taking part in today’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
As we near the first anniversary of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the minister will emphasize the importance of stepping up European support for Ukraine, specifically by adopting a new €500 million package through the European Peace Facility. She will stress the importance of continuing to meet the needs of the Ukrainian people by following through on all the commitments taken at the “Standing with the Ukrainian People” Conference held in Paris on December 13. Lastly, she will urge support for Ukraine’s efforts to achieve a just peace, commending that country’s 10-point-peace plan.
With the human rights situation worsening in Iran, the Minister will express support for the adoption of new sanctions targeting those responsible for serious human rights violations. It would be consistent with Europe’s firm response to the regime’s actions.
The minister will call for strengthening the EU’s involvement in development as well as security and defense in the Gulf of Guinea. She will underscore the urgent need to act in response to a growing terrorist threat and the risks posed by lasting instability in the region. She will review the conclusions of her joint visit to Ethiopia with Annalena Baerbock to demonstrate support for the peace process in that country, which could pave the wave for EU re-engagement.
During the ministers’ luncheon with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Ms. Colonna will reaffirm our commitment to the two-state solution and to strengthening relations between the EU and the Palestinian Authority.
The minister will also express support for the decision to establish an EU civilian mission in Armenia, which is playing a stabilizing role in the region.
Lastly, the minister will highlight the issue of foreign interference in order to ensure the protection of European democracy. Ms. Colonna will particularly stress the vigilance that the European Union must show in response to the influence of certain organizations that promote values incompatible with those of the EU.
Colombia, Costa Rica, Barbados, Saint Lucia – Visit by Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (Jan. 23 – Feb. 1, 2023)
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will be in Colombia, Costa Rica, Barbados and Saint Lucia from January 23 to February 1.
In Colombia, she will meet with several members of the Colombian government. These meetings will focus the priorities shared by French President Emmanuel Macron and Colombian President Gustavo Petro, particularly with regard to preserving the environment and promoting peace.
The minister of state’s visit will provide an opportunity to strengthen the partnership between our two countries in order to implement the new Colombian government’s national development plan and to support a project to protect and support women who have fled Venezuela. Ms. Zacharopoulou will also reaffirm France’s political and financial support for the Colombian peace process. She will engage in discussions with stakeholders involved in the peace process and representatives of Colombian civil society, especially from indigenous communities.
In Costa Rica, the minister of state will be hosted by President Rodrigo Chaves Robles, joined by several members of his government. This visit is designed to deepen cooperation on global challenges, particularly the implementation of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, the preservation of biodiversity ahead of the One Forest Summit in March, and preparations for the third UN Ocean Conference, to be co-hosted by France and Costa Rica in 2024 and 2025. She will also meet with representatives of civil society organizations and key players in the French-speaking community.
In Barbados, the minister of state will meet with Prime Minister Mia Mottley and members of her government to address reforms to the international development financing architecture for global public goods, following discussions between President Macron and Prime Minister Mottley at the COP27 on the proposals contained in the Bridgetown Agenda and in preparation for this June’s summit on a “new financial pact,” to be held in Paris. France’s support for regional integration, particularly with regard to the environment, will also be discussed during a visit to the Caribbean Development Bank.
In Saint Lucia, Ms. Zacharopoulou will meet with Prime Minister Philip Pierre to discuss bilateral and regional cooperation, particularly with France’s Overseas Territories. They will also address the preservation of the mangrove ecosystem and cooperation between France and Saint Lucia in the area of health during a hospital tour.
Iraq – French-German cooperation – Laying of foundation stone of the French-German Cultural Institute in Erbil (Jan. 22, 2023)
On the 60th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, signed on January 22, 1963, the foundation stone was laid for the future French-German Cultural Institute in Erbil, in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region (KRI). The French and German ambassadors attended this event, as did the president of the KRI.
This institute will be housed in the Erbil Citadel, a UNESCO world heritage site. Three languages and cultures will share this new venue designed to foster intercultural exchange. The new institute will offer French, German, Kurdish and Arabic language programs, as well as cultural activities highlighting French and German culture and aimed at an Iraqi-Kurdish audience, especially young people.
French-German Cultural Institutes are among the 15 priority projects included in the Aachen Treaty signed on January 22, 2019; that treaty, which follows on from the Elysée Treaty, reflects France and Germany’s desire to expand the range of their cooperation. Four years after it was signed, three institutes out of nine have opened their doors: Palermo (June 2021), Ramallah (June 2022), and Atlanta (September 2022).
Iran – Adoption of new sanctions at the EU foreign ministers’ meeting (Jan. 23, 2023)
Today’s EU Foreign Affairs Council attended by Catherine Colonna adopted a new package of sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown in Iran.
This is the fourth round of European sanctions adopted in response to the serious human rights violations committed by the Iranian authorities in the crackdown on the movement sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death. This package adds 18 new individuals and 19 new entities to the 60 individuals and eight entities already subject to sanctions since October 2022. These measures are designed not to affect the Iranian people or the Iranian economy, but those responsible for the crackdown.
France once again condemns the Iranian authorities’ execution of protesters who were convicted in unfair summary trials. France calls on the Iranian authorities to end these convictions and executions and to respect the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people.