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France expresses its "unconditional support" to the Tribunal

Press Release PRESIDENT

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 23 February 1996

France expresses its "unconditional support" to the Tribunal

The President of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Judge Antonio Cassese, has just paid an official visit to the French authorities.

On Wednesday 21 February 1996, he successively met Minister Jacques Toubon (Justice), Minister Hervé de Charette (Foreign Affairs) and Secretary of State Xavier Emmanuelli (Humanitarian Action), together with high-ranking officials of their ministries.

During these meetings, France expressed its "plain and unambiguous support" of the Tribunal, and the Ministers informed President Cassese of the following decisions:

1. the Ministry of Justice will second at least five magistrates for a six-month period. They will help the Office of the Prosecutor to screen material pertaining to persons suspected of violations of international humanitarian law, as agreed by all the Bosnian parties at the end of the Rome meeting;

2. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will donate to the Office of the Prosecutor vehicles (valued at one million francs) for the transportation of investigators on mission;

3. the Department of Humanitarian Action has announced the financing of an audio-visual equipment in order to upgrade the existing equipment in the Tribunal's courtroom. The new equipment will delay the transmission of the footage of the public proceedings in order to enhance witnesses' and victims' protection;

4. it will also finance the participation of French forensic experts in the exhumation of mass-graves as intended by the Office of the Prosecutor.

On Thursday 22 February 1996, President Cassese visited the President of the Constitutional Court, M. Roland Dumas, and was received at the Elysée Palace by the head of the diplomatic advisers to President Chirac, Mr. Jean David Levitte. On behalf of the French President, Mr. Levitte assured President Cassese of France's "unconditional support" for the Tribunal.

President Cassese wholeheartedly thanked his hosts for their clear commitment to the Tribunal and their significant financial contribution to its work.
He will welcome any similar support by the other European capitals he is intending to visit soon: Bern, Bonn, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Moscow and Rome.

On Monday 26 February 1996, President Cassese will address the fifteen Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union meeting in Brussels.


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