Daily Press Briefing on Iran and E3+3 Meeting (Excerpts)

May 23, 2012

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Q : Can you confirm the reports in the Iranian press that Mr. Jacques Audibert, Political Director at the Quai d'Orsay, no longer had a mandate to participate on behalf of France in the negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue?

A : I would firstly like to confirm that the Director General for Political and Social Affairs is there today in Baghdad and is actively participating with his counterparts from the E3+3 group in the discussions with the Iranians.

I can do no better than to reiterate to you what President Hollande said on this issue during his press conference at the NATO Summit in Chicago.

"Yes, there's been some posturing and manipulation and you're right to ask me this question since it will allow me to do justice to this media campaign, although the press doesn't have much to do with all that. Mr. Jacques Audibert who is, incidentally, present here with us, is our negotiator. He has been entrusted with a mandate and will be present at the meeting in Baghdad; we've been working in close collaboration throughout this period with the ministers concerned and I have every confidence that he will adopt the firm that is crucial to this negotiation."