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Official speeches and statements - July 26, 2016

Published on July 26, 2016

1. Attack in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray - Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, 26/07/2016)

I’ve come with the Interior Minister to express the whole nation’s solidarity with the commune of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray - I’m standing next to its mayor -, which has been through a terrible ordeal, with the cowardly murder of the parish priest by two terrorists claiming allegiance to Daesh [so-called ISIL]. I met the priest’s family; I also wanted to talk to the people who were held hostage, who expressed sorrow, grief and also a desire to understand what may happen.

By this visit we also wanted to express our support for the police, for the officers who intervened extremely swiftly to prevent an even heavier toll and saved the hostages.

I’d also like to pay tribute to the emergency services, the firefighters, the SAMU [mobile emergency medical service] staff who, by also intervening very swiftly, were able to evacuate the most seriously injured person and a slightly injured person and enable their lives - I hope - to be saved.

We’re facing a tragedy, yet another one, because the threat is very high. It remains very high after everything we’ve lived through in recent days and even recent years. We’re up against a group, Daesh, which has declared war on us. We must wage this war by every means, with due respect for the law, which makes us a democracy.

What the terrorists want to do is divide us. Today, after the death of this priest, my thoughts are with France’s Catholics. I want to express support to them.

This evening I’ll be hosting a meeting with the Primate of Normandy, who will make sure he talks to the population. Tomorrow I’ll host a meeting with all the religions, because we must stand together. It’s Catholics who have been hit, all Catholics, but all French people feel concerned. That’s why we must be cohesive, in a group, a bloc that nobody must be able to split.

The anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office has been tasked with conducting the investigation. It will provide full information. The prosecutor will be able to pass on what he knows, but today we must realize, if there were any need, that the terrorists will give up nothing until we stop them. That’s what we are determined to do, and it’s what we’ll do tirelessly. It involves everything we’ve managed to implement in terms of the law, in terms of resources, and only recently through the deployment of forces. French people must know that they’re under threat, that they’re not the only country - Germany is too, as are others - but that their strength depends on their cohesion. Thank you./.

2. Attack in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, 26/07/2016)

Following the vile terrorist attack perpetrated in the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, in the Seine-Maritime region, during which a priest was murdered and another person very seriously wounded, the President had a meeting straightaway with Mgr Pontier, President of the French Bishops’ Conference, to express his support to him at this painful time.

The President paid an on-the-spot visit, accompanied by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

He extends the nation’s solidarity and sympathy to the victims’ families and all France’s Catholics.

The President paid tribute to the actions of the police, the emergency services, the Mayor and all the services of the commune, which mobilized immediately.

This evening at the Elysée he will receive Mgr Lebrun, Archbishop of Rouen, who was attending the World Youth Day in Krakow.

Tomorrow morning the President will convene a meeting of the Conference of Religious Leaders of France./.

3. Syria - Bombing of hospitals in Aleppo - Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Paris, 24/07/2016)

I was appalled to learn that in the past 24 hours, medical facilities have been hit yet again during air raids on Aleppo.

Such actions clearly contradict Resolution 2286, in which - in May - the UN Security Council condemned violence against the sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel in armed conflicts.

In Syria, it is more urgent than ever for the regime and its supporters to end their attacks on civilians, to restore the cessation of hostilities, to ensure that all those in need of humanitarian aid have access to it, and to resume negotiations on a political transition./.

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