Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, October 14, 2013)

 

Central African Republic – Visit by Mr. Laurent Fabius (October 13, 2013)
Syria – Kidnapping of humanitarian workers
Sudan – Attacks against UNAMID
Iran
Syria – Attacks


Central African Republic – Visit by Mr. Laurent Fabius (October 13, 2013)

Yesterday, Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Bangui in order to signal France’s attachment to a swift improvement in the security situation and the living conditions of the people of the Central African Republic.

We are mobilized in support of the Central African Republic, at the bilateral level as well as in the international forums, as reflected by the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council on October 10 of resolution 2121, which we proposed in accordance with the Libreville Agreement and the N’Djamena Declaration. We especially support the establishment of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (AFISM-CAR) under the auspices of the African Union, with the support of the Economic Community of Central African States, as well as the efforts of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) in the field of civil matters (political process, human rights and humanitarian access).

Mr. Laurent Fabius reaffirmed to the transitional authorities the importance of completing the political process which should result in free and transparent elections in February 2015. The minister of foreign affairs stressed that the authorities would be responsible for ensuring the protection of the civilian populations and the fight against impunity.

Together with Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner responsible for humanitarian assistance, Mr. Laurent Fabius also paid tribute to the work of the humanitarian organizations and civil society. He also had exchanges with the leaders of the major faiths, whose efforts to ease sectarian tensions he praised.

Lastly, Mr. Laurent Fabius met with the French community, to whom he reaffirmed our solidarity.

Syria – Kidnapping of humanitarian workers

France condemns the kidnapping of 7 humanitarian workers in northern Syria and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

France calls for full compliance with international humanitarian law and demands that free, immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access be granted to all humanitarian actors by all parties to the conflict.

 

Sudan – Attacks against UNAMID

France condemns the attack perpetrated on October 13 against a convoy belonging to the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in El Geneina, which killed 3 Senegalese soldiers, as well as the murder in El Fasher on October 11 of a UNAMID military observer from Zambia.

We extend our condolences to the Senegalese and Zambian authorities as well as to the victims’ families. France urges the Sudanese government to swiftly investigate these attacks and to bring those responsible to justice.

The deterioration of the security situation in Darfur in recent months is troubling.

We reaffirm our full support for UNAMID’s action and for the states helping to consolidate peace in Darfur. We call on the parties to accelerate the implementation of the Doha agreement, which is being undermined by repeated violence, notably targeted against UNAMID.

Iran

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif is seeking a 5+1 meeting at the ministerial level following Tuesday’s meeting in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear program. Are you in favor of that?

The arrangements for the negotiation session due to take place in Geneva on October 15 and 16 were agreed with Iran in New York; according to these arrangements the discussions will take place at the political director level and will be chaired by Ms. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

We expect Iran to make concrete gestures. We will update you after this meeting.

 

Syria – Attacks

Several car bomb attacks have taken place in Syria. What’s your response?

France condemns all violence in Syria, whatever its origin. This includes the car bomb attacks that took place yesterday in Damascus and today in Darkoush, with the civilian population bearing the brunt of the attacks. We extend our wholehearted condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

As Mr. Laurent Fabius reaffirmed in New York at the international meeting involving the president of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad al-Jarba, the crisis can only be resolved through a process of political transition. This is the goal of the Geneva II conference which should result in the establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers, including those of the presidency.