Visit by Mr. Alain Juppé to Burma (January 14 to 16, 2012)
Mr. Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France will travel to Burma from January 14 to 16 for an official visit to this country.
This historic visit – the first by a French foreign minister to Burma and the first French ministerial visit since 1988 – has been made possible by the political reform process initiated a few months ago. The Ministre d’Etat intends to encourage President Thein Sein and the Burmese authorities to continue and to give further momentum to this trend, by taking concrete measures in support of national reconciliation, human rights and minorities and democratization.
On January 15, in Yangon, the Ministre d’Etat will meet with Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the emblematic figure of the fight for democracy in Burma and Nobel Peace Prize winner, representatives from the parliamentary opposition parties and from parties representing ethnic communities, as well as with representatives from civil society. He will also meet with the French community present in Burma.
On January 16, in Naypyidaw, the Ministre d’Etat will meet with the President of Burma, Mr. Thein Sein, with his counterpart, Mr. Wunna Maung Lwin, as well as with the presidents of the two chambers of Parliament.
While welcoming the reforms under way for several months now, the Ministre d’Etat will underline the importance that France attaches to ensuring that:
the political prisoners still being detained be immediately and unconditionally released;
the upcoming parliamentary by-elections, scheduled for April 1, 2012, take place under conditions that are in accordance with democratic practices;
agreements can be signed with the ethnic groups guaranteeing Burma’s unity and respect for the rights of minorities, so that the humanitarian organizations can have access to the populations and so that a political dialogue between the government and the groups concerned can be initiated.
(Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Paris, 12th January 2012)