Daily press briefing by Ministry Spokesperson [fr]
Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign and European Spokesperson
(Paris, 1 August 2008)
[Please note that only the original French text issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ON THE ACCIDENT IN A DORMITORY IN TURKEY
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred in a dormitory in Tashkent where an accidental explosion killed 14 young girls and injured many other people. It wishes to express its full support to the Turkish authorities. The Presidency conveys its deepest condolences to the victims’ families and loved-ones during this painful and difficult time.
Q. - Do you have any comment on China’s restriction of Internet access for reporters covering the Olympics? Has France approached the Chinese authorities on this topic?
To us it seems highly desirable to ensure the broadest possible circulation of information during the Olympic Games in order for their success to be commensurate with the efforts made by the Chinese authorities to ensure the event’s universal scope.
As for reporters’ Internet access, it is up to the IOC and the organizing committee to see that it is as broad as possible.
We’ve taken note of the Chinese authorities’ announcement of the lifting of restrictions on Internet access, which is an encouraging sign.
Q. - What is the French EU presidency’s reaction to Italy’s ratification of the Lisbon Treaty?
France welcomes yesterday’s vote by the Italian Parliament to approve ratification of the Lisbon Treaty […]. This vote opens the way to the conclusion of the 24th treaty ratification proceedings.
Q. - Does the Foreign Minister intend to receive the Dalai Lama while he is in France this August? Or will one of his ministers of state?
As the Foreign Minister said recently, he knows the Dalai Lama personally, has received him in the past and has regular contacts with him.
As far as the Dalai Lama’s forthcoming visit is concerned, the schedule of meetings has not yet been finalized.
Q. - Why has the travel advice for Yemen been changed recently?
The deterioration of security conditions in Yemen in recent months led the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to issue cautionary warnings and to advise our compatriots wishing to travel to that country as tourists to postpone their trips.
The existence of terrorist threats against Western targets and a high risk of abduction, in a context already marked by a very marked increase in terrorist actions carried out in the country during the past year, have led us to formally advise French nationals against travelling in any part of Yemen. While essential strictly professional trips can be considered, they are possible only if strengthened protective measures are taken in coordination with local authorities, who are fully engaged in reducing the risks encountered by foreign visitors./.