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Published on February 17, 2016
Replies by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to questions in the National Assembly
Paris, February 16, 2016


You’ve just described a terrible situation. And the urgent thing today is very clear: it’s to protect civilians. And the bombing – I mean all the bombing – must stop. It’s intolerable for hospitals and schools to be targeted, as was the case only yesterday, when more than 50 civilians were killed by those bombings.

Those actions – as I’ve said, and in condemning them I repeat it – are flagrant violations of international law. This morning I called the President of Médecins Sans Frontières, Mego Terzian, to express to him the full solidarity and support of the international community and the government. Humanitarian workers are paying a heavy price for their commitment on the ground, and they must be praised. So the priority is, indeed, people’s access to humanitarian aid. And the situation is particularly tragic in Aleppo, where a million people live, 50,000 of whom have tried to flee.

An agreement was reached in Munich, it must be honoured, and it’s a commitment: an end to hostilities, an end to the bombing, access to areas to help the population, with a view to resuming the political negotiations in Geneva as quickly as possible – because that’s also the way to find a solution to this tragic crisis – and then mobilizing the whole international community without hesitation, without objection, against Daesh [so-called ISIL]./.

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