Persian Gulf/Rafale project // French aid to Turkey earthquake victims
Visit by the Ministre d’Etat to the Gulf region
Can you give us details of Alain Juppé’s tour of the Middle East after Turkey? Dates, countries to be visited, focus of discussions...
The Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, will conduct a visit to the Gulf region from November 19 to 22.
He will firstly go the United Arab Emirates where he will take part in the Sir Bani Yas Forum, a high-level informal seminar on peace and security in the Arab world, then he will go to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He will conclude his trip in Kuwait, where he will co-chair, together with the Kuwaitis, the closing meeting of the Forum for the Future, which is an important forum for dialogue between the representatives of civil society and the Maghreb and Middle East States and the countries of the North.
This visit will provide an opportunity for bilateral meetings with the leaders of these four countries. France, on the initiative of President Sarkozy, has chosen to strengthen its relations with the Gulf countries which are long-standing friends and allies of France. This is a strong commitment, which has led in just a few years to the strengthening of our ties in all areas – in political and economic areas, as well as in the defense and security fields through the opening of a French base in Abu Dhabi, which reflects France’s commitment to the region’s security.
This visit will be an opportunity for consultations on the regional issues, notably the Arab Springs, the Syrian crisis and support for the countries in transition within the framework of the Deauville Partnership, a French initiative bringing the Western countries and the Gulf countries together.
The Minister will also address the major international issues. During its presidency of the G20, France was anxious to closely involve the Gulf countries, which are key players in the globalization process. It will continue to pursue this trusting dialogue with them.
President Sarkozy has entrusted Alain Juppé with the task of overseeing the development of the major strategic partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates, which of course includes the discussions on the Rafale project. Alain Juppé is conducting this work in close collaboration with President Sarkozy, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense.
Earthquake in Turkey - French humanitarian assistance (November 16, 2011)
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has just sent another plane carrying humanitarian assistance to Turkey, in a spirit of solidarity in response to the Turkish authorities’ request for assistance. This plane, which is carrying a significant quantity of large tents for those left homeless, took off on November 15 from Paris for Erzurum, the logistics center for Turkish relief supplies.
This is the second shipment of French humanitarian assistance to the region, the first flight having arrived on October 27. In all, more than 4,000 people affected by these disasters will have been able to benefit from this assistance.
This shipment follows the new aftershock that occurred on Wednesday, November 9 in Edremit about 15 km from Van (eastern Turkey) and which left 40 people dead. The earthquake on October 23 cost the lives of 604 people. Further tremors have again been registered in recent days.