Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, May 21, 2013)
p>United States – Tornado in Oklahoma City
Iraq – Attacks
Appointment of Ms. Aïchatou Mindaoudou Souleymane as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire
Appointment of Mr. Albert Gerard Koenders as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Mali
Meeting between Mr. Thierry Repentin and his Estonian counterpart (Paris, May 22, 2013)
France expresses its deep shock at the tragic consequences of the powerful tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area in the southern United States yesterday, leaving more than 90 people dead, according to the latest reports.
In the face of this disaster, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the victims’ families and express our solidarity with the American authorities and people.
France strongly condemns the deadly attacks perpetrated in recent days in Iraq and extends its condolences to the victims’ families.
It reaffirms the critical importance of dialogue between all Iraqi political forces, while ensuring respect for the federal and parliamentary institutions, since this is the only way to overcome the challenge posed by terrorism.
France welcomes the appointment of Ms. Aïchatou Mindaoudou Souleymane as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire and Head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), replacing Mr. Albert Gerard Koenders.
We welcome this choice which will allow UNOCI to benefit from Ms. Mindaoudou’s experience and excellent skills. Ms. Mindaoudou, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Niger, has until now been serving as Joint Special Representative (Political) for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
France welcomes the appointment of Mr. Albert Gerard Koenders as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Mali.
As the former Dutch minister for development cooperation and head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire since 2011, Mr. Koenders has the international experience and determination that will enable him to effectively support efforts to resolve the crisis in Mali. He will be able to count on France’s support in his role as head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
The UN Mission in Mali reflects the international community’s close involvement in the process to ensure the country’s stability and democracy, to which France is strongly committed.
Without waiting for MINUSMA’s deployment, scheduled for July 1, Mr. Koenders will swiftly assume his duties in order, through his good offices, to support efforts to re-establish the authority of the Malian state throughout the territory, to support the national reconciliation and dialogue process and the holding of free, fair and transparent elections.
On May 22, Mr. Thierry Repentin, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, will meet with Mr. Mart Laanemäe, Estonian Undersecretary of State for Europe and Transatlantic Relations.
This meeting testifies to the excellent relations between Estonia and France. They have notably resulted in two visits to France this year by Estonian President Toomas Ilves.
During this meeting, the ministers will discuss the economic governance of the EU and the future of the euro zone, of which Estonia has been a member since 2011. Mr. Repentin and Mr. Laanemäe will notably discuss the banking union and enhanced cooperation on the tax on financial transactions, which Estonia has embraced.
They will also discuss issues relating to the Common Security and Defense Policy, and notably the EUTM Mali mission, in which Estonian forces are participating.