Excerpt from the Foreign Ministry press briefing (February 25, 2014)
Q: To return to the question of the French ambassador in Washington, the Quai d’Orsay has denied the comments attributed to him but not the meeting. Was there a meeting between the ambassador and Javier Bardem?
A: No. I said that he had not met Mr. Bardem and therefore could not have made the comments ascribed to him.
Q: Mr. Bardem is talking about a meeting in 2011.
A: There was no meeting between Ambassador Delattre and Mr. Bardem—which means that the remarks ascribed to Mr. Delattre were not made.
Q : Can you summarize the state of the relationship between France and Morocco?
A: President Hollande met with the King of Morocco yesterday evening. On that occasion, the President’s office noted that Morocco and France have a special partnership. In a few minutes, the foreign minister will be speaking with his Moroccan counterpart. Our relationship is strong and close in every area and is constantly expanding.
Q : Will the cooperation between our intelligence services continue?
A: The cooperation between our two countries on the fight against terrorism is crucial. It is one of the cornerstones of our bilateral cooperation. Of course it will continue and will expand in the months ahead.
Q : You spoke of a “regrettable incident,” with respect to a judge’s wish to question the Moroccan security chief. You wanted to get to the bottom of that incident. Was an investigation launched? What did it conclude?
A: We scrupulously respect the separation of powers and do not interfere in the judicial process. That said, we indicated on Saturday that this was a regrettable incident and we are providing all necessary clarifications to the Moroccan authorities. That is what we are in the process of doing.
French newspaper Le Monde, February 26, 2014
Corrections and clarifications
The article “Javier Bardem admoneste la France et sa ‘maitresse,’ le Maroc” (“Javier Bardem admonishes France and its ‘mistress,’ Morocco”) (Le Monde, February 21), contains a translation error. Remarks by a French diplomat, related by the Spanish actor, comparing Morocco to a “mistress” were attributed to François Delattre, France’s ambassador to the United States. However, according to Javier Bardem, they were made by Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador to the United Nations. We ask Mr. Delattre and Javier Bardem, as well as our readers, to kindly excuse this error.