French Ministry of Foreign Affairs attending the London Conference on Somalia (February 23)
The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Alain Juppé, has attended the London Conference on Somalia on February 23.
"This conference should mark a new stage in the international community’s action to promote peace and support reconstruction in Somalia.
This is a critical time for Somalia, while its transition should be completed on August 20. The international community’s continued commitment will be conditional upon this transition. There’s still a great deal of work to be done in order to achieve the objectives set out in the road map signed in Mogadishu on September 6, 2011.
France has supported AMISOM - notably by training its various contingents - since its initial deployment in 2007. This African Union mission does courageous and essential work, but making Somalia safe also requires training Somali soldiers in order to ensure the long-term autonomy of Somalia’s authorities in this area. France contributes to the efforts of the European mission, EUTM, which should integrate soldiers from all regions of Somalia.
The unity of Somalia requires strengthened dialogue between the various Somali entities. The international community – in particular the EU - already provides substantial assistance to Somalia. This assistance should notably focus on strengthening the rule of law. We’re referring to the prosecution and incarceration of pirates, which are crucial to ending the impunity currently prevailing in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. That’s why France is engaged, at the bilateral level as well as within the European framework, in actions that are helping to strengthen Somalia’s maritime and judicial capacities. The fight against piracy goes hand in hand with support for the creation of a genuine State in Somalia. This is in the interests of the Somali people. It’s also in our interest. "
Statement by the Deputy Spokesman on February 21, 2012