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Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, April 22, 2014)

Published on April 22, 2014
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2014 monthly review

Joint visit by Mr. Laurent Fabius and his German counterpart to Moldova, Georgia and Tunisia (April 23 to 25, 2014)
South Sudan – Massacre of civilian populations in the city of Bentiu
Pakistan – Attack against journalist Hamid Mir (April 19, 2014)
Somalia – Murder of two members of parliament (April 21 to 22, 2014)
Belarus – Execution of Pavel Sélouine (April 18, 2014)
Myanmar/ Burma – Death of opposition leader Win Tin (April 21, 2014)
Cannes Film Festival – French aid for world cinema

Joint visit by Mr. Laurent Fabius and his German counterpart to Moldova, Georgia and Tunisia (April 23 to 25, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and his German counterpart, Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, will conduct a visit to, Chisinau, Tbilisi and Tunis from April 23 to 25. This first joint visit reflects our shared determination to strengthen our cooperation in order to ensure that the European neighborhood is a region of stability, prosperity and security. In these three countries, the two ministers will hold political discussions with the authorities as well as with representatives of the main parties.


The visit to Moldova and Georgia will mark our support for the signing, by June at the latest, of association agreements between the EU and these two countries, initialed at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 29.


Mr. Laurent Fabius and his German counterpart will then visit Tunis from April 24 to 25 in order to welcome the historic step taken by Tunisia through the adoption of the constitution, to encourage the Tunisians to persevere with dialogue and compromise until free and transparent elections can be held and to reaffirm European support. They will notably visit the construction site of the rapid rail network for greater Tunis; 60% of the funding for this project is being provided by a group of European donors, primarily the French Development Agency and its German equivalent, the KfW.


South Sudan – Massacre of civilian populations in the city of Bentiu


France again expresses its concern about the human rights situation in South Sudan.


The investigations carried out by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan have made it possible to confirm that the capture of Bentiu by armed groups on April 15 and 16 resulted in the massacre of civilian populations. France condemns these murders, which were committed on the basis of ethnic background, as well as the use of the local radio station to spread incitement to hatred and sexual violence.


It would like those responsible for these human rights violations to be brought to justice.


France calls on the parties to immediately implement, in its entirety, the cessation of hostilities agreement and to guarantee humanitarian access to the civilian populations.



Pakistan – Attack against journalist Hamid Mir (April 19, 2014)


France condemns the attempted assassination on April 19 in Karachi of Mr. Hamid Mir, a journalist for "Geo News.” It wishes him a speedy recovery and assures him of its sympathy.


We call on the Pakistani authorities to bring those responsible for this attack to justice and assure them of our support in the fight against terrorism and all forms of intolerance.


Attacks against journalists threaten the freedom of expression and the freedom of information, i.e. the very foundations of democracy. France attaches the utmost importance to ensuring that journalists are able to work in safety everywhere. This is the aim of the resolution on the protection of journalists that we supported and which was adopted in November 2013 by the UN General Assembly.



Somalia – Murder of two members of parliament (April 21 to 22, 2014)


France condemns the murder, on April 21 and 22 in Mogadishu, of Isaak Mohamed Rino and Abdiaziz Isak Mursal, both members of the Federal Parliament of Somalia. There can be no impunity for these acts; the perpetrators must be brought to justice.


We express our condolences to the victims’ families.


France assures the Somali authorities and people of its solidarity in the fight against terrorism and their efforts to stabilize the country.



Belarus – Execution of Pavel Sélouine (April 18, 2014)


France condemns the execution of Pavel Sélouine, a 23-year-old Belarus citizen. This execution which was announced on April 18, took place even though Mr. Sélouine had recently filed an appeal which was due to be reviewed very soon by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.


France urges Belarus, the only European country that still applies the death penalty, to immediately establish a moratorium on executions. It reaffirms its constant opposition to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances. It believes that the abolition of the death penalty is essential to the protection of human dignity.



Myanmar/ Burma – Death of opposition leader Win Tin (April 21, 2014)


We were very saddened to learn of the death of Win Tin, a historic figure in the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma.


Win Tin, a journalist who began his career in the Agence France-Presse office in Yangon, embodied for more than 40 years the fight against oppression and the struggle for freedom alongside Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom he co-founded the National League for Democracy in 1988. He received the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize in 1998.


He was released after 19 years in prison; his political fight never ceased.


We extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones.



Cannes Film Festival – French aid for world cinema


France actively supports the projects of filmmakers from all over the world, and particularly from emerging countries. This year, 6 films selected at the Cannes Film Festival out of 37, i.e. nearly one in six, benefited from World Cinema Support.


This scheme, which had a budget of €6 million in 2013, was jointly created by the Centre national de la cinématographie and the Institut français, an operator of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. It provides for aid for foreign filmmakers who wish to develop a project that will be co-produced with France. It is only available for feature-length fiction, animation and documentary projects. Post-filming aid is also envisaged.


This is an important contribution by France in support of efforts to promote cultural diversity.

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