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Central Asia


1. France was one of the first Western countries to recognize the independence of the nations that make up Central Asia and to establish diplomatic relations with them. For France, just like for the European Union, the attention paid to Central Asia has been increasing with the identification of hydrocarbon resources in the Caspian Basin, making it one of Europe’s future sources of supply, especially in light of the post-11 September 2001 situation. France has embassies in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. France is represented in Kyrgyzstan by its ambassador to Kazakhstan. A diplomatic base, placed under the authority of this latter but directed by a diplomat permanently based in Bishkek, was opened in early September 2004.

2. Our involvement in Afghanistan and the logistical opportunities on which we have been able to rely in Central Asia (stationing of troops in 2002 in Kyrgyzstan, presence of an air detachment in Tajikistan, overflight rights) have caused us to enhance our political dialogue and our political, defence and national security cooperation with the countries of the region. We opened an embassy in Dushanbe in 2002. Our high-level contacts are increasing: the President of the Republic held talks with his Kazakh and Uzbek counterparts in Prague in November 2002 and again with his Kazakh counterpart outside the NATO Summit in Istanbul in June 2004; the Tajik President visited Paris in December 2002, as did the Kazakh President in June 2003 and the Kyrgyz President in October 2003; the Secretary of State visited Central Asia in November 2002, as did the Minister responsible for Foreign Trade in May 2003, the Minister of Industry in November 2004 (Kazakhstan) and the Minister of Defence in June and July 2003 (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan), visiting Tajikistan more regularly.

3. Having said that, along with our European partners, we are showing ourselves to be vigilant with regard to totalitarian deviations and the deteriorating human rights situation. This is particularly true in Turkmenistan, where this deterioration has been condemned by an EU initiative following condemnations issued by the OSCE, the Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations General Assembly (2003 and 2004). In Uzbekistan, we have supported - along with our European partners - the review of the engagement strategy of the EBRD, which decided to suspend almost all of its loans to the public sector and to redirect its activities to promote the fight against poverty and the development of small- and medium-sized businesses. Moreover, we bring individual cases of human rights violations to the attention of the Uzbek authorities on a regular basis.

4. Our trade with the countries of Central Asia is expanding progressively, in particular with those countries that boast a substantial supply of hydrocarbons. Kazakhstan is by far our leading trading partner, followed by Turkmenistan (construction of a refinery in Turkmenbashi, numerous Bouygues projects) and Uzbekistan (projects in the areas of cotton and water). A latecomer to Kazakhstan, Total holds 20.3% of the shares in the Kashagan oil field and hopes to acquire new stakes in the exploitation of offshore fields. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are eligible for the “Emerging Countries Fund” (Réserve Pays Emergents, RPE), which supports development projects.

5. For us, the stability of the Central Asian countries, which are especially exposed to new threats (organised crime, drug trafficking from Afghanistan, terrorism), is a key issue. Held in Paris in May 2003, the Conference on Drug Routes helped raise international awareness of Central Asia’s strategic role in drug trafficking. This is the mindset we have adopted in directing our cooperation with regard to security in the region (appointment for two years of a regional police attaché in Tashkent, assisting Almaty since the summer of 2003, and creation of a post in Dushanbe in the autumn of 2004). We are relaying this cooperation at European Union and OSCE levels focussing on three main lines: enhancing border security (European Border Management for Central Asia - BOMCA - which is entering its third phase with €836,800, increasing funds for the following phase with €8.58 million), combating drug trafficking (Europe’s Central Asia Drug Action Programme - CADAP - with $4.5 million for 2003-2004) and training police forces (the OSCE’s pilot project in Kyrgyzstan).

6. In late 2001, the EU doubled the amount of aid allocated to Central Asia (TACIS programme): it now amounts to €50 million/year and has clear priorities: encouraging reforms and the state of law, enhancing security and border control, supporting the establishment of a legal and regulatory framework that encourages foreign investment and the development of local initiatives. The EU has entered into partnership and cooperation agreements (PCA) with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and, just recently, with Tajikistan. (October 2004).


  • Afghanistan – Presidential elections – Statement by Laurent Fabius (07.04.14)

    Despite the attempts at intimidation and acts of violence on occasion, a large number of voters went to the polls. France commends the courage and determination of the Afghan people who, in this way, signaled their determination to take control of their future and to see their country make progress on the path toward democracy and peace.

  • Afghanistan - Attack against journalists (04.04.14)

    France reaffirms its support for the journalists who work, with courage and determination, to promote the freedom of information in Afghanistan. It is mobilized, notably within the United Nations, to ensure that the safety of journalists is guaranteed everywhere.

  • Meeting between Laurent Fabius and his Afghan counterpart (04.09.13)

    Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, received september 4 his Afghan counterpart, Zalmay Rassoul. This meeting took place at a time when the transition process and in particular the preparations for the upcoming presidential elections – which are key to Afghanistan’s stability - are under way.

  • Afghanistan – Death penalty (22.11.12)

    France condemns the executions that took place in Afghanistan on 20 and 21 November. The executions came immediately after the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, by a large majority, of a resolution calling for the establishment of a global moratorium on the death penalty. This adoption confirms the global trend towards the abolition of this cruel and inhuman punishment.

  • Afghanistan – Attack (26.10.12)

    France expresses its profound shock following this barbaric act, which killed at least 42 people including 5 children, and extends its condolences to the Afghan people and to the families of the members of the Afghan security forces killed in this attack. It reaffirms its wholehearted solidarity with the Afghan authorities in the fight against violence.

  • Afghanistan – Suicide attack in Nangarhar Province (05.09.12)

    The frequency of suicide attacks against the Afghan civilian population reaffirms the need to fight against the scourge of terrorism. In this respect, France reaffirms its wholehearted solidarity with the Afghan authorities and its determination to remain engaged alongside them in order to work toward stabilizing Afghanistan.

  • Public execution of a woman in Afghanistan (11.07.12)

    France strongly condemns the public execution of a woman for adultery in Parwan province in Afghanistan. As the Afghan authorities have promised, full light must be shed on this crime, the perpetrators of which must be identified and brought to justice.

  • Afghanistan – Announcement of the 3rd phase of the transition (14.05.12)

    France congratulates President Karzai and the Afghan government on these decisions which build on the Afghan president’s visit in January when the treaty of friendship and cooperation between our two countries was signed. These decisions also reflect the progress observed on the ground through the concerted action of the ISAF forces and the Afghan security forces.

  • Qatar –Taliban representation (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - 05.01.12)

    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.

  • Azerbaijan - Pardon granted to M.Safarov (03.09.12)

    France expresses her concern following the announcement of the pardon granted to M. Safarov by the Azerbaijani authorities on Friday, 31 August. In Hungary in 2006 the Hungarian courts sentenced him to life imprisonment for the unspeakable murder of an Armenian officer in Budapest in 2004.

  • Violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan (06.06.12)

    The parties must be fully committed to implementing a peaceful settlement based on the respect of the principles of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, notably the non-use of force, territorial integrity and the right of peoples to self-determination.

  • Bangladesh – Ban on several NGOs (03.08.12)

    France regrets the Bangladeshi authorities’ decision to prohibit three nongovernmental organizations (Médecins sans Frontières, Action contre la Faim and Muslim Aid UK) from working with Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazaar district.

  • Elections in Bhutan (13.07.13)

    France welcomes the holding, on July 13, 2013, of the second set of elections in Bhutan since the establishment of democracy. The success of these elections strengthens democratic progress in this country.

  • Fleur Pellerin traveling to China (20-23.04.14)

    China is one of France’s major trading partners, with exchanges in 2013 totaling 55.3 billion euros, including 14.7 billion in exports. In line with the economic diplomacy advocated by Laurent Fabius, the main objectives of Ms. Pellerin’s visit will be to bolster France’s image as an economic, industrial and technological power, to promote respect for the rules of fair and balanced global governance, and to facilitate French companies’ access to the French market.

  • Visit by Laurent Fabius to China (20-24.02.14)

    This visit, which falls within the context of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, was also aimed at preparing for the Chinese president’s state visit to France.

  • Visit by Mr. Laurent Fabius to China (12-13.04.13)

    Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited China from April 12 to 13. He went to Beijing and Shanghai. This visit allowed the minister to meet with the new Chinese authorities who took office in March and to prepare for the visit that President Hollande will make to China in the near future.

  • Telephone conversation between Laurent Fabius and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi (18.03.13)

    The minister congratulated his Chinese counterpart on his appointment. He underscored the importance France attaches to the development of French-Chinese relations in all areas. The two ministers agreed on the importance of strengthening French-Chinese partnerships in the civilian nuclear and aerospace sectors, while developing other partnerships. The minister reaffirmed the need to restore balance to and strengthen trade between France and China.

  • Visit by Laurent Fabius to Japan and China (07-10.07.12)

    On 9 and 10 July, the Minister will visit China on the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Mr Yang Jiechi, with whom he will discuss the bilateral relationship as a whole and the major international and global issues. He will also meet Mr Dai Bingguo, State Councillor responsible for foreign affairs, Mr Wen Jiabao, Premier, and Mr Li Keqiang, First Vice Premier.

  • “Croisements” festival in China (April – June 2012)

    Jointly organized by the Embassy of France to China and the Institut Français, in association with the Alliances françaises de Chine and Unifrance Films, and with the support of its public and private partners (institutions, theaters, businesses), the 2012 festival program will include innovative projects such as contemporary circuses, contemporary dance, and new stage productions.

  • India – French–Indian consultations (17.06.13)

    These consultations confirmed the excellent nature of French–Indian relations which are based on a strategic partnership, the critical importance of which President Hollande reaffirmed during his state visit to India from February 14 to 15, 2013.

  • India – Attacks in Hyderabad (21.02.13)

    France utterly condemns the attacks that took place in Hyderabad on February 21, 2013, which indiscriminately targeted innocent victims, leaving at least 14 people dead and more than a hundred injured. Our Consul General in Bangalore immediately visited the area in order to express our solidarity with India and to ensure the safety of the French community.

  • India – Death of 36 people at the Kumbh Mela (11.02.13)

    We were deeply shocked to learn of the death of 36 people at the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in Allahabad. In these tragic circumstances which have plunged India into mourning, France would like to extend its condolences to the bereaved and express its solidarity with the Indian authorities and people.

  • Bonjour India - Festival of France (29.11.12)

    Riding the wave of success of the first edition of Bonjour India (2009-2010), the Institut Français en Inde and the French Embassy in India, in association with the Alliance Française India network and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), are all set to unveil the second edition of the festival from January to April 2013.

  • Pakistan - India - Process to normalize trade relations (02.03.12)

    France welcomes this decision, which follows the visit to Islamabad by India’s Commerce Minister, Mr. Anand Sharma. It’s the first step in the plan approved by both governments aimed at standardizing economic relations by granting, in a spirit of reciprocity based on the current situation, the most-favored nation status to India.

  • Laurent Fabius’s visit to Indonesia and Vietnam (01-05.08.13)

    This visit reflects France’s determination to strengthen its relations with Southeast Asia. ASEAN, which has a population of almost 600 million, is France’s second largest trading partner in Asia. Mr. Fabius will be accompanied by French business leaders.

  • Japan – Entry into force of the 1980 Hague Convention (02.04.14)

    France welcomes the entry into force in Japan on April 1, 2014, of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This convention provides for cooperation between the central authorities of our two countries in order to ensure the swift return of children to their country of usual residence as well as the enforcement of visiting rights.

  • Visit by Laurent Fabius to Japan and China (07-10.07.12)

    In Tokyo on 7 and 8 July, he took part in the ministerial conference on Afghanistan, which – 10 years after the Tokyo conference on reconstruction – should enable the international community’s long-term support in the field of civilian cooperation to be reasserted. Indeed, following the transition period in 2014 Afghanistan will enter a decade of transformation towards economic and social development, based on her own resources and the development of her wealth – particularly her mineral wealth – thanks to private investment.

  • Maldives – Presidential elections (21.11.13)

    France welcomes the holding of the second round of the presidential elections in the Maldives and the election of Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. France commends the very high voter turnout.

  • Myanmar – Situation in Rakhine state (12.02.14)

    France is concerned at the situation in Rakhine state. Sectarian tensions are being exacerbated by the humanitarian crisis and human rights violations facing Buddhist and Muslim communities – the vast majority of whom want peace, security and development.

  • Myanmar/Burma - Human Rights Watch report (22.04.13)

    We have taken note of the Human Rights Watch report, which accuses the Burmese authorities of having carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingyas and reveals a number of disquieting facts. It is up to the Burmese authorities to shed full light on the communal violence that has been taking place in Rakhine State for a year now.

  • Burma – Unrest in Meiktila (22.03.13)

    France is concerned by the violence that took place in the town of Meiktila which has resulted in the death of around 20 people. It extends its condolences to the people of Burma and to the bereaved. France urges the parties involved to demonstrate tolerance and restraint, and has confidence in the Burmese government to swiftly restore calm.

  • Myanmar/ Burma – Train crash and earthquake (12.11.12)

    France extends its condolences to the Burmese authorities and people following the train crash that took place in the district of Shwebo, in the north of the country, and the tremors that hit the same region to the north of Mandalay.

  • Myanmar/ Burma – Situation in Rakhine state (12.11.12)

    We support the Burmese government’s efforts to restore security and to bring those responsible to justice. We also encourage the Burmese government to ensure access by the humanitarian agencies to all those in difficulty in Rakhine state.

  • Myanmar/ Burma - abolition of the censorship of media (20.08.12)

    We welcome this progress with respect to information and the freedom of expression, while noting that more work needs to be done in other areas: not all political prisoners have been released, hostilities have not ceased in Kachin State, and the humanitarian situation remains critical with respect to the Rohingyas in Rakhine State.

  • North Korea – Firing of missiles (26.03.14)

    The firing of these missiles, which undermines regional security and stability, constitutes a further violation of the UN security resolutions which require North Korea to refrain from any activity related to a ballistic missile program.

  • North Korea – Nuclear test (12.02.13)

    We call on North Korea to put an immediate end to its attempts to destabilize the region. It must fully implement without delay UN Security Council resolutions 1718, 1874 and 2087. We again urge it to resume dialogue with a view toward the complete, irreversible and verifiable dismantlement of its nuclear and ballistic program.

  • North Korea – Nuclear and ballistic missile programs (23.01.13)

    France reaffirms its condemnation of the launch of a long-range rocket on December 12 by North Korea. It again urges North Korea to immediately comply with its international obligations and to dismantle its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.

  • Pakistan - Attacks (08-09.04.14)

    France condemns the attacks targeted this morning against a market in Islamabad and yesterday against a passenger train at the station in Sibi in Baluchistan Province.

  • Pakistan – Attack in Peshawar (22.09.13)

    France condemns yesterday’s heinous attack on a church in Peshawar. France asks the Pakistani government to take all necessary measures to protection the populations targeted by these attacks.

  • Pakistan – Attacks (17.06.13)

    France strongly condemns the particularly heinous attacks that targeted a hospital and Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University in Quetta, Baluchistan, on June 15. This institution is supported by France as part of an excellence-based scholarship program.

  • Pakistan – Elections (11.05.13)

    France welcomes the holding of elections in Pakistan on May 11. They were marked by the strong and courageous mobilization of the voters, who, despite violence on the part of extremist groups, freely expressed the diversity of their opinions. France extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the violence.

  • Pakistan – Car bombing at the Jalozai refugee camp (22.03.13)

    France strongly condemns the attack that targeted the Jalozai refugee camp in Pakistan. According to the latest reports, this attack killed 15 people and injured around 40 in this camp that provides shelter to people fleeing the fighting between Pakistani security forces and Taliban forces.

  • Pakistan – Anti-Shi’ite attack in Quetta (18.02.13)

    France utterly condemns the attack on 16 February in the city of Quetta in Balochistan. According to the latest toll, the attack – which targeted the Shi’ite Hazara community – left more than 80 people dead and some 200 wounded. In these tragic circumstances, France shares the grief of the victims’ loved ones. She reiterates her solidarity with the Pakistani people and stands alongside them in the fight against terrorism.

  • Pakistan – Attacks (11.01.13)

    France utterly condemns yesterday’s attacks in the city of Quetta and the Swat Valley in Pakistan, in which, according to a provisional toll, more than 110 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

  • Pakistan - Attacks (22.11.12)

    We offer our condolences to the bereaved and express our wholehearted solidarity with the Pakistani people in their rejection of terrorism and religious fundamentalism.

  • Pakistan – Execution of Muhammad Hussain (15.11.12)

    France condemns the execution in Pakistan of Muhammad Hussain, which puts an end to the moratorium on the death penalty observed by the Pakistani government for 5 years. This decision is a step backward in terms of Pakistan’s progress toward greater respect for human rights.

  • Fires in Pakistan (12.09.12)

    We were deeply shocked to learn that two fires in Pakistan – in Karachi and in Lahore – have, according to the latest report, resulted in the death of more than 200 people.

  • Pakistan - Murders (17.08.12)

    France calls on the Pakistani authorities to pursue their efforts to end the increase in sectarian violence and to combat all forms of extremism.

  • Pakistan - India - Process to normalize trade relations (02.03.12)

    France welcomes this decision, which follows the visit to Islamabad by India’s Commerce Minister, Mr. Anand Sharma. It’s the first step in the plan approved by both governments aimed at standardizing economic relations by granting, in a spirit of reciprocity based on the current situation, the most-favored nation status to India.

  • Pakistan – Murder of Pakistani journalist Mukarram Khan Aatif (18.01.12)

    France utterly condemns the murder of Pakistani journalist Mukarram Khan Atif on Tuesday, January 17 in a mosque in the town of Shabqadar (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province) while he was attending prayers. Those responsible for this heinous act, for which the Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility, must be prosecuted and condemned.

  • Typhoon in the Philippines – Update as of November 15, 2013

    On November 9, Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed our wholehearted solidarity with the people of the Philippines who have been affected by Typhoon Yolanda/ Haiyan. According to the latest reports, this typhoon may have killed more than 10,000 people, affected hundreds of thousands of people and caused major damage.

  • Philippines – Ferry disaster (20.08.13)

    France was shocked to learn of the sinking of the ferry MV Thomas Aquinas late on Friday night off the island of Cebu in the Philippines. It extends its sincere condolences to the victims’ families and friends.

  • News about the cooperation network - First joint committee on the France-Korea Year (16.04.14)

    The France-Korea Year will take place in France from September 2015 to July 2016, before continuing in Korea from March to December 2016. Numerous events during the course of this year will reflect our dynamic bilateral relationship in all areas. The events will focus on youth (contemporary music, comic strips, video, fashion, sport) and new art forms (digital arts, Twitterature).

  • Thailand – Political situation (22.01.14)

    While the Thai authorities have just declared a state of emergency in Bangkok, France is concerned by developments in the political situation in the country. We condemn the increase in incidents and violence over the last few weeks.

  • Thailand – Demonstrations (10.12.13)

    We encourage Thailand’s political leaders to find a peaceful resolution that fully respects the institutional framework, the rule of law and democratic principles.

  • Situation in Thailand (26.11.13)

    France is closely monitoring developments in the situation in Bangkok. Dialogue must prevail, in accordance with the rule of law and the democratic institutions.

  • Vietnam – Sentencing of Pham Viet Dao (19.03.14)

    France deplores the sentencing of Vietnamese blogger Pham Viet Dao on March 19 to fifteen months in prison. We reaffirm our attachment to the freedom of expression and opinion, including on the Internet, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • Vietnam - Arrest of blogger Truong Duy Nhat (27.05.13)

    This arrest follows a series of convictions handed down against rights defenders in Vietnam since autumn 2012, which breach human rights. France notably expressed its concerns after two young Vietnamese, Nguyen Phuong Uyen and Dinh Nguyen Kha, were sentenced to heavy punishments on 16 May. France is particularly attentive to these issues, which are the subject of a dialogue between the European Union and Vietnam.

  • Vietnam – Prison sentences handed down to musicians and composers (31.10.12)

    France strongly condemns the sentences handed down on October 30 by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court condemning composers and musicians Tran Vu Anh Binh and Vo Minh Tri, charged with disseminating anti-government propaganda because of the content of their songs released on the Internet, to 6 years and 4 years in prison, respectively.



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