- Press Releases
ROK and France Hold 7th Africa Policy Consultation and 4th Middle East Policy Consultation (Nov. 13)
1. The 7th Republic of Korea-French Republic consultation on Africa policy took place in Paris, France, on November 13. The two sides exchanged views on peace and security in Africa, and the ROK and French governments’ Africa policies, and agreed to continue to discuss ways to work together on issues regarding the African region, including protecting their nationals overseas, supporting their companies’ bids to increase presence in Africa, sharing information on the situation in the region, and development cooperation.
※ The ROK and French delegations to the consultation were led by Director-General for African and Middle Eastern Affairs Hong Jin-wook and deputy head of the Directorate for Africa and the Indian Ocean of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs M. Francois Barateau, respectively.
o Director-General Hong explained the ROK government’s key diplomatic strategies and foreign policies towards Africa being pursued as part of its efforts to diversify diplomacy. In particular, he talked about various accomplishments, including the Korea-Africa Foundation established in June, the African Development Bank’s annual meeting held in Busan in May, and Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon’s visits to the Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania in July.
o Furthermore, the two sides agreed to step up cooperation to protect their nationals in Africa, and to continue to explore concrete ways to cooperate in supporting the bids of their nationals and companies to increase their presence in Africa by facilitating cooperation between the Korea-Africa Foundation, an organization handling African issues newly formed within the ROK government, and a related agency of France.
2. Prior to the consultation on Africa policy, Director-General Hong held the 4th consultation on Middle East policy with head of the Directorate for North Africa and the Middle East Jerome Bonnafont of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. The two sides exchanged views on key issues in the Middle East, including the Iranian issue, and discussed how the ROK and France can work together in responding to issues in the Middle East.
o Director Bonnafont took note that the ROK was exempted from US sanctions on Iran, reinstated on November 5, and thus can continue to import Iranian crude oil and export items to Iran. The two sides also agreed to continue to work together to peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue even after the reimposition of US sanctions on Iran.
o In addition, the two sides agreed on the need to proactively deal with the rapidly-changing situations in the Middle East, including those in the Republic of Yemen, the State of Libya, and the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the State of Israel-State of Palestine relations.
- The ROK side said that it was strengthening economic partnerships, including by supporting Gulf countries’ plans to diversify industries. Director Bonnafont said that France was also exerting similar efforts, and offered to continue cooperation on them, as peace and stability in the Middle East are important for the international community, including the two countries.
3. Discussing the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the two policy consultations, Director-General Hong explained the ROK government’s position to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to establish a lasting peace on the Peninsula, and asked for support. The French side expressed support for the ROK’s peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
4. The Foreign Ministry will continue to hold close consultations with major countries, including policy consultations, and share their understanding of the situations in Africa and the Middle East, and continue cooperation on Africa and Middle East policies.
* unofficial translation