Daily Press Briefing
Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
(Paris, March 1, 2004)
[Please note that only the original French text issued by the
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.
( http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr )]
Today : HAITI, COTE D’IVOIRE, GREATER MIDDLE EAST/EU, EU/PIONEER GROUPS,
I want to reiterate the statement that Foreign Minister Dominique de
Villepin made today in Tokyo:
“1. – France has had only one objective throughout this crisis: to help
Haiti find her way back to democracy and peace.
This is why, from the start of the crisis, France has stressed the need
for the international community to take action in pursuit of this goal.
To this end, she has closely consulted with the United States and her
partners in the region such as Canada, Brazil and Mexico, as well as the
United Nations Secretary-General. This is why we called on President
Aristide, with due regard for the law, to accept the consequences of the
situation of chaos which he had himself created and face up to his
responsibilities. No constitutional legality any longer existed in Haiti;
there was no longer anything other than the daily disorder of the bands
armed by the authorities, who were looting, killing and spreading terror.
It was the responsibility of the international community – and so France –
to say loudly and clearly that President Aristide could no longer go on
leading his country, dispensing with all rule of law. By asking him to
accept the consequences of the situation of bankruptcy into which he had
plunged Haiti, France has not ignored the law; on the contrary, she
wanted to restore and give it back its full force.
2. – The decisions taken yesterday in Port-au-Prince and New York are in
line with what France was calling for:
– In Haiti, the constitutional rules are once again being applied: an
acting president has been sworn in, according to the provisions of the
Constitution. In this context, the CARICOM Action Plan proposals to
establish a government of national unity are being implemented. France
wants the process to move forward rapidly and bring together all the
political forces which refuse violence. A drive to promote national
reconciliation is needed to establish the conditions for Haiti genuinely
to get back on her feet.
– In New York, the Security Council has unanimously passed UNSCR 1529
calling for the deployment of a Multinational Interim Force to restore
calm and security throughout Haiti. France welcomes this decision which
bears witness to the mobilization of the international community and is
the result of exemplary cooperation between all the Security Council
members and with Mr Kofi Annan. She is already making an initial
contribution of around 300 men to this force. She also intends supporting
the future follow-on United Nations stabilization mission. Nothing
serious can be done in Haiti without the prior restoration of law and
order and security.
3. – Besides these first measures, France wants to be at Haiti’s side to
help the country rebuild itself – within the next few days, new
humanitarian aid resources are going to be sent to address the immediate
public health problems: help for hospitals, medicines, generators – we
shall subsequently provide technical assistance to help the economic and
social development of Haiti which is one of the world’s poorest countries.
Action will be needed in every sphere: agriculture, health, training,
– finally, we shall have to encourage the major international donors
(World Bank, European Union, etc.) to go back into Haiti to create a solid
and sustainable basis to help the Haitian economy and society.
I personally intend shortly to go to Haiti once a government of national
unity has been formed and has begun working.”
Q – Will the French soldiers that France decided to send to Haiti be part
of the international force approved yesterday by the Security Council? How
many troops in all will France contribute to that interim force?
With respect to the first part of your question, yes, the French troops
sent to Haiti represent an initial contribution to that force, as
specified in the minister’s statement.
As for the second point, you should ask the Defense Ministry.
Q – There has been close diplomatic cooperation between France and the
United States on the Haiti crisis. Do you think this episode will help
improve ties between the two countries? Are you ruling out ex-President
Aristide’s coming to France?
You are right to underscore the exemplary way in which France and the
United States are working together, notably on the Haiti crisis. It is the
most recent example of the cooperation between our two countries that can
be seen on many fronts.
As for your question about ex-President Aristide, I have no particular
information on that point.
Q – What is the French-American agreement based on?
As you know, the international community has been working together closely
and is widely mobilized on the crisis in Haiti. Its analysis of the causes
of the crisis and the means to remedy it have translated into a very broad
convergence of views. We are very pleased about that. It shows how
important the unity of the international community is in resolving crises.
Daily Press Briefing