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Archive for France

Newsline: French President slammed for “disastrous” diplomacy on Ukraine

Diplomatic efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron in response to the war in Ukraine were a failure and “deeply harmful” for Kyiv, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO secretary-general, said in an interview published on Friday. “It was not a success”, Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister who was one of the world’s most-senior diplomats until he left the transatlantic defence alliance in 2014, told French magazine Le Point. “Macron astonished us at the beginning of the crisis with his, to say the least, unique and critical statement that Putin should not be humiliated and offered an exit ramp. Such statements were disastrous and deeply harmful”, he added. (https://news.yahoo.com/former-nato-boss-slams-macron-133723455.html) His comments come after criticism, especially in eastern Europe, about how Macron kept an open line with Russian President Vladimir Putin with direct phone calls even after the invasion of Ukraine and has warned against ‘humiliating’ Russia. The French presidential office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Newsline: Indian PM hailed at UNGA for saying this is not time for war

French President Emmanuel Macron told world leaders at the UN General Assembly session that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right when he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that this is not the time for war. Modi, who met Putin last week on the sidelines of the 22nd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand, had told the Russian leader that “today’s era is not of war”. He has spoken to Putin several times over the phone regarding this issue and underlined the importance of democracy, diplomacy and dialogue. “Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India was right when he said the time is not for war. It is not for revenge against the West or for opposing the West against the East. It is the collective time for our sovereign equal states to cope together with challenges we face,” Macron said during his address at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/pm-modi-was-right-when-he-said-this-is-not-time-for-war-french-president-emmanuel-macron-at-unga/ar-AA123Buk) At the UNGA session on Tuesday, Macron expressed hope the international community can commit to the reform of the UN Security Council.

Newsline: French Embassy in Ireland warns of ‘severe housing crisis’

The French Embassy in Ireland has warned anyone thinking of moving here that the country is currently experiencing a “severe housing crisis”. In a statement on its website, the embassy in Dublin said new arrivals will face “significant difficulties” in finding accommodation. It also warned that a strong demand has led to a “sharp increase in rents which are currently much more expensive than in Paris, including shared accommodation”. (https://www.independent.ie/news/french-embassy-in-ireland-warns-international-students-that-ireland-is-experiencing-a-severe-housing-crisis-41994110.html) It posted the advice on its website as part of guidance for French people looking to move to Ireland.

Newsline: India and France Calls for Diplomacy to End Conflict in Ukraine

India and France reiterated calls for negotiation to end the conflict in Ukraine. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-09-14/india-and-france-reiterate-calls-for-negotiations-to-end-conflict-in-ukraine) “There should be a return to dialogue and diplomacy,” India’s foreign minister, S. Jaishankar, told reporters after a meeting with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna.

Newsline: EU top diplomats split on visa bans for Russia

Germany and France have issued a joint warning against a ban on tourist visas for Russians, saying such a step, advocated by other European Union member states, would be counter-productive. The split on tourist visas will be at the heart of a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in Prague on Tuesday and Wednesday, as they discuss what further steps they can take to sanction Russia for its six-month old invasion of Ukraine. “We caution against far-reaching restrictions on our visa policy, in order to prevent feeding the Russian narrative and trigger unintended rallying-around the flag effects and/or estranging future generations,” France and Germany said in the joint memo seen by Reuters. (https://news.yahoo.com/eu-foreign-policy-chief-eyes-063619840.html) The bloc’s two leading countries argue for close scrutiny of visa applications for security risks, but believe visas should still be issued. “We must not give up on supporting pro-democratic elements with Russian society,” they said. “Our visa policies should reflect that and continue to allow for people to people contacts in the EU with Russian nationals not linked to the Russian government. Others, in particular eastern and Nordic member states, have argued strongly for a ban.

Newsline: China’s ambassador to France pledges to re-educate Taiwanese population

Once China achieves its professed goal of establishing control over Taiwan, a process of “re-education” of the island’s population would follow, according to China’s Ambassador to France Lu Shaye. The ambassador was speaking on French television channel BFM TV, when he said a majority of the Taiwanese population actually wanted to be “re-unified” to China ten or twenty years ago, but that “anti-Chinese” propaganda from the local Democratic Progressive Party has indoctrinated the people of the island. “After the re-unification, we’ll do re-education,” Lu told the French TV channel, saying that this will make sure Taiwanese people will recover their sense of patriotism. “I am sure that at that time, the people of Taiwan will be in favor of reunification again. They will become patriotic again,” he said. He added that the process of re-education will be Beijing’s main tool to integrate the people of Taiwan into China—not the use of threat. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/newsworld/china-would-re-educate-taiwan-in-event-of-reunification-ambassador-says/ar-AA10l6cX) The concept of “re-educating” the population is far from reassuring, as the term is the same used by Beijing to label the practice in mass “re-education” camps for political indoctrination.

Newsline: Pakistani protesters call for French ambassador to be expelled from country

Thousands of supporters of a radical Islamist party in Pakistan continued to protest over depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in France that they deem blasphemous. They were angered by remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty. Macron defended the freedom of expression to produce the cartoons and attacked “Islamist separatism”. The protesters in Pakistan — supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party — called for the expulsion of the French ambassador in Islamabad. They also want to cut diplomatic relations with France and withdraw their ambassador from the country. Muhammad Latif, a protester at the event in Islamabad, said: “We love our prophet, we will give our life for the respect and honour of Prophet Muhammad, we will give our life but can’t accept the French ambassador’s presence here.” (https://www.euronews.com/2020/11/16/pakistani-protesters-call-for-french-ambassador-to-be-expelled-from-country) The sit-in, which has continued at an important intersection, started unplanned at the end of a protest march from Rawalpindi led by TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, despite resistance by police on Sunday night. TLP supporters defied the security arrangements of police and the administration and clashed with security forces at different points on the way to the Faizabad intersection.

Newsline: Ex-Vatican ambassador to France goes on trial on sexual molestation charges

The Vatican’s former ambassador to France goes on trial in Paris on Tuesday accused of molesting four men in the latest sex scandal to rock the Roman Catholic church. Prosecutors opened an investigation after a junior official at Paris City Hall accused papal nuncio Luigi Ventura, then 74, of molestation in January 2019, and city authorities filed a complaint to the Paris prosecutor. (https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-france-religion-trial/ex-vatican-ambassador-to-france-goes-on-trial-on-sexual-molestation-charges-idUKKBN27Q1B5) Ventura’s lawyer has denied the allegations. The Vatican last year lifted Ventura’s diplomatic immunity and he resigned from his post in December. A Paris City Hall official told Reuters last year that in January 2019, during Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s New Year address, Ventura caressed the junior official’s buttocks repeatedly. Since then, three other men have come forward with similar allegations. Jade Dousselin, a lawyer for one of the men, a City Hall community manager who was 39 at the time, said her client had been molested in 2018. Ventura was papal envoy in France from 2008 to 2019, following postings in several African countries and in Canada.

Newsline: French Embassy Asks Russia To Beef Up All Missions’ Security

The French Embassy asked Russia to beef up the security of all French diplomatic missions in the country, after rallies in front of embassies and an attack on a consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the embassy told Sputnik on Friday. The embassy said it had alerted the Russian authorities to increased risks for the country’s diplomats in light of recent events. (https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/french-embassy-asks-russia-to-beef-up-all-mis-1071745.html) A day earlier, people came to a French Embassy in Moscow to protest the Muhammad caricatures that were published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo. One of the protesters was holding a banner with criticism against French President Emmanuel Macron.

Newsline: Saudi man arrested in Jeddah after knife attack on guard at French consulate

A Saudi man was arrested in the Red Sea city of Jeddah after attacking and wounding a security guard with a “sharp tool” at the French consulate on Thursday, local police said. A statement from the Mecca region’s police said the guard suffered “minor injuries” and that “legal action” was being taken against the perpetrator. The French Embassy said the consulate was subject to an “attack by knife which targeted a guard”, adding the guard was taken to hospital and his life was not in danger. “The French Embassy strongly condemns this attack against a diplomatic outpost which nothing could justify,” it said in a statement. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security-saudi/saudi-man-arrested-in-jeddah-after-knife-attack-on-guard-at-french-consulate-idUSKBN27E1QB) The attack occurred after a knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” beheaded a woman and killed two other people in the French city of Nice earlier in the day. Nice’s mayor described the attack as terrorism. France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of a school teacher by a man of Chechen origin. The attacker had said he wanted to punish the teacher for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson. Since Samuel Paty’s killing, French officials have reasserted the right to display the cartoons as a matter of free expression, and the images have been widely displayed at marches in solidarity with the teacher. That has stirred anger in parts of the Muslim world, with some governments accusing French President Emmanuel Macron of pursuing an anti-Islam agenda. Saudi Arabia on Tuesday condemned cartoons offending the Prophet Mohammad, but held back from echoing calls by other Muslim states for action against images of the Prophet being shown in France.