Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, March 19, 2013)

Israel – Formation of a new government
Syria – Election of Ghassan Hitto
Zimbabwe – Referendum of March 16
Appointment of Ms. Mary Robinson as UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region


Israel – Formation of a new government

Following the formation of the new government, France looks forward to working with the new Israeli authorities on strengthening our bilateral relations.

We will continue the trusting dialogue we have established with them on numerous international issues of shared interest.

We expect the new government to make the restoration of a climate of trust with the Palestinian Authority and the resumption of the peace process a priority in order to achieve a two-State solution as swiftly as possible.

 

Syria – Election of Ghassan Hitto

France congratulates Mr. Ghassan Hitto on his election by the Syrian National Coalition as prime minister of the interim government. We’re convinced that this election will help unify the opposition and strengthen its cohesion under the auspices of the Coalition and its president, Mr. Moaz al-Khatib.

While the situation continues to deteriorate in Syria, resulting in more and more casualties among the population, France would like this election to enhance the Coalition’s capacity to help the Syrian people, to prepare for political change, and to work toward building a free and democratic Syria.

 

Zimbabwe – Referendum of March 16

France welcomes the smooth conduct of the constitutional referendum on March 16 in Zimbabwe which took place in a calm and transparent manner. The Southern Africa Development Community’s mediation mission played a key role in making this consultation process possible.

This referendum marks an important stage in the political process to resolve the crisis and advance reconciliation initiated in 2008, which should lead to parliamentary and presidential elections. Credible elections that are recognized by the international community will pave the way toward the normalization of relations between Zimbabwe and its partners.

With this goal in mind, France urges the parties involved to demonstrate calm and restraint in order prevent any increase in tensions. The opposition parties and the non-governmental organizations must be able to freely participate in future elections.

 

Appointment of Ms. Mary Robinson as UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region

France welcomes the appointment by the UN Secretary-General of Ms. Mary Robinson as UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region.

In resolution 2076 adopted in November 2012, the Security Council urged the Secretary-General to consider the appointment of a UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region. France supports this initiative, which is likely to strengthen the international community’s participation in the search for a lasting solution in the region. In addition, this appointment is one of the provisions set out in the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region signed in Addis Ababa on February 24 on Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s initiative.

Ms. Robinson, whose background and commitments are well known, will – as part of a regional approach and with the support of the international community – be responsible for leading, coordinating and evaluating the implementation of this framework agreement.

France assures Ms. Robinson of its full support in promoting efforts to restore lasting peace in the Great Lakes region.