Posted by: APO | 14 November 2007

CHAD / CHAD/ZOE’S ARK

 

Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

(excerpts)

 

(Paris, November 13, 2007)

[Please note that only the original French text issued by the

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.

 

CHAD

====

 

Q – What’s happening about the deployment of European forces in Chad?

 

I planned to talk about it on November 13 because that’s the date of the

next meeting on troop generation, but since you’ve asked, I can brief you

on the most recent meeting. It was held at the end of last week and

showed that the troop generation process, which is the technical term

used, is going well since at this point over a dozen countries, including

France, have indicated their willingness to take part in this operation–I

leave it to these countries to give you more specific details after the

next troop generation meeting.

 

As regards France, we’ve said we’ll provide a battalion formed of three

companies and support units. The European Union should have adequate

capacities to launch the operation between now and the end of the year.

We would like to salute the efforts of countries like Ireland which is

commanding the operation—I told you that General Nash came to Paris a few

days ago—and Poland, which are making a significant contribution in troops

and which will have important responsibilities in the field. It’s very

good news for defense Europe and for its capacity to act autonomously in

crises. I propose to wait until the conference on November 14 before

filling in the remaining gaps, specifically with respect to medical

equipment and transport capacity.

 

Q – In Paris General Nash had mentioned 4,300 men, right?

 

Yes.

 

Q – So it’s on that order?

 

Yes. I understand that we’re operating on that hypothesis, knowing full

well that there will be increase in strength once we start setting up the

force. The figures remain those we’re working with.

 

Q – The deployment is still due to start before the end of November?

 

We’d said before the end of the year. We hope it’ll be before the end of

November, after the last conference on force commitments in mid-November.

 

Q – Where are the meetings being held?

 

In Brussels. This is a European operation which comes under the CFSP.

 

CHAD/ZOE’S ARK

==============

 

Q – Chadian judicial authorities are to give their decision about the

future of the six French citizens. What attitude will the Quai d’Orsay

take should the authorities decide to keep them somewhat longer?

 

We are waiting for the decision by the Chadian authorities. This is a

matter for cooperation between the judicial authorities of our two

countries. I’ve no further comment.

 

Q – Can you give us details about the inter-ministerial mission to Chad?

 

You’re referring to the mission by the Foreign Ministry and Defense

Ministry inspection services. They actually arrived the day before

yesterday. They were due to be in Abeche today and have a month in which

to prepare their findings which will be made public. I can’t say more,

they’re just beginning. Let me remind you that the purpose of the mission

is to understand how Zoë’s Ark was able to conceal its objectives and

identity in the operation which took place in Chad.

 

Q – How long are they staying?

 

I don’t know what’s planned. They are to hand in their report in a month.

The members are free to plan their work as they wish, in liaison with our

services there. I’ve no other information on how they intend to carry out

their mission. We’ll give you more details later on on how it’s going, if

you like.

 

(…)


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