Disappearance of Egyptair flight MS804
(Elysée Palace, le 19 mai 2016)
Mr. Prime Minister,
Madam President, dear Dominique Gillot,
Before closing this conference, I’m sure you will understand if I go back to what happened during the night, in the early hours of the morning. I was informed that the plane that was to leave Roissy, that did in fact take off from Roissy for Cairo, Egypt, was lost, and that there was reason to fear that it had crashed. The information that we—along with the Prime Minister, members of the government, and of course the Egyptian authorities—were able to obtain confirmed, alas, that this plane was damaged and has been lost. It was carrying 66 passengers in all, including the crew and security personnel. Among them were 15 French nationals. We therefore contacted the concerned families, and the crisis center was immediately activated.
We are working with the Egyptian authorities to ensure that the families receive support and information at this difficult time, and they have our solidarity and our compassion. This is not the first time that such a disaster has occurred, and we know what it means for the families and loved ones. But it is also our duty to learn everything we can about the causes of what happened, and no hypothesis can be ruled out or given priority over others.
I therefore want everything to be made available to the Greek and Egyptian authorities so that working together, we can send boats and planes to the area where the plane disappeared and, if possible, find debris that will allow us to uncover the truth.
And once we have the truth, we must draw the necessary conclusions about whether this was an accident or something else that is on all our minds: an act of terrorism. But at this stage, our top priority is showing our solidarity with the families and seeking the causes of this disaster.
I know that the French government has mobilized its efforts, I know that many organizations—beginning, of course, with the air carrier in question, as well as the authorities of friendly countries, and foremost among them, the Egyptian authorities—have done likewise, and we will get to the truth.