Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign and European Spokesperson (Paris, January 16, 2012)

Iraq/attack in Basra
Syria/Arab League
Iran/Syria – weapons


Iraq/attack in Basra

France utterly condemns Saturday’s bloody attack in Basra – which claimed the lives of more than 50 pilgrims gathered for the Shi’i commemoration of Arba’een – as well as all the attacks in the previous days.

France offers her condolences to the Iraqi people and the victims’ families and expresses her solidarity with the Iraqi authorities in their fight against terrorism.

In this context, it is all the more important for the political crisis to be overcome and for Iraq’s leaders to be able to join forces to respond to the challenge of violence and to the Iraqi people’s expectations.  We call on all Iraq’s political players to engage in dialogue to preserve national unity and the country’s stability.

France stands alongside Iraq and reaffirms her full support for all the democratic political parties and the Iraqi government, which are engaged in the effort to rebuild the country.


Syria/Arab League

Q. – Do you support the idea of sending Arab troops to Syria?  The Arab League Secretary-General has said he’s going to float the idea of an Arab buffer force in Syria.  What’s your reaction to this proposal?

We continue to support fully the Arab League’s involvement and commitment with a view to ending to the crackdown in Syria, which has already claimed 6,000 lives.

The observer mission is carrying out an important and difficult task, as shown in particular by the unacceptable violence committed against certain observers last week.

The bloody crackdown has claimed over 400 more lives since the deployment of the mission, even though the mission had set itself the target of monitoring the implementation of the Arab action plan’s four points:  an end to the crackdown, the release of all the political prisoners, the return of the security forces to barracks and international media access to Syrian territory.

As the Ministre d’Etat has just recalled, the Security Council’s silence is unacceptable.  It’s all the more important for the Arab League to lead the way and be supported by the international community, so that Damascus does indeed implement the four points of the plan to resolve the crisis.  We reiterate our support for the Arab League.

We understand that a meeting of the League’s ministerial council is to be held in the next few days.  It should be an opportunity for the Arab League to discuss the different conceivable options for putting an end to the Syrian crisis, which threatens the stability of Syria and the whole region.


Iran/Syria – weapons

Q. – According to the Americans, Iran is supplying weapons to the Syrian regime that are being used in the crackdown.  Do you have any information on this subject?

The United Nations’ panel of experts on Iran has identified and informed the Security Council of several cases of violations of the embargo on weapons to and from Iran introduced by UNSCRs 1747 and 1929.

Those weapons deliveries are illegal and deeply shocking, because they benefit a regime that has opted for a crackdown described several times by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council as “crimes against humanity”.

We condemn these violations and call on Iran and Syria to comply fully with the Security Council resolutions.