Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign and European Spokesperson
Qatar –Taliban representation (January 5 2011)
Q - Could you clarify France’s position regarding the expected opening of a Taliban office in Qatar and Hamid Karzai’s reticence regarding this issue? Does France believe that this initiative could distance the Afghan government from talks with the Taliban?
France has long supported a political solution to the Afghan crisis. It has always affirmed that responsibility for the peace talks and the efforts to achieve national reconciliation lies with the Afghan authorities.
At the London and Kabul Conferences last year, the international community lent its support to President Karzai in his determination to make progress toward a reconciliation process that involves all components of Afghan society. We support the initiatives that may contribute to this process.
The Afghan government and all components of Afghan society seeking a peace agreement have wanted, for a long time now, to have a clearly identified Taliban interlocutor. The opening of the Taliban office in Qatar, if it is confirmed, could respond to this expectation, and constitute a step forward in the political process that should result in free presidential elections in 2014. President Karzai has agreed to the negotiations which will lead to the creation of this office.
The inter-Afghan reconciliation process should allow those individuals, who are ready to break from international terrorism, renounce violence and respect the constitution, to become part of the legal framework. We are attentive to this point and to the respect, within the framework of any discussion process, of democratic achievements.
Yemen (January 6 2011)
The transition agreement must be fully implemented and all parties must honor their signature, starting with President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has pledged to leave office after the February 21 elections to appoint a new president of the Republic.
At this stage, the current transition process is well under way and must not be impeded.
France reaffirms its full support for the authorities responsible for the transition, in particular the vice president and the prime minister, who notably have the task of ensuring the proper conduct of the presidential elections. We will remain attentive to the ongoing developments in Yemen and to the continuation of the political process.