Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, June 18, 2014)

Ukraine – Death of two Russian journalists (June 17, 2014)
Sudan – Bombing of a Doctors without Borders hospital (June 16, 2014)
Appointment of Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (June 16, 2014)
Syria

Ukraine – Death of two Russian journalists (June 17, 2014)

France deplores the loss of two Russian journalists, Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, on June 17 during fighting in eastern Ukraine. Full light must be shed on the circumstances behind the death of these two journalists. These deaths add to the list, which is far too long, of victims of the conflict.

We extend our condolences to their families and express our solidarity with the editorial team of the VGTRK group.

France pays tribute to the courage of journalists who continue to carry out their work all over the world despite the dangers and threats. It will continue to make the defense of the freedom to inform and be informed a priority of its diplomacy.

What’s your assessment of the peace process in Ukraine? What’s your opinion regarding a solution to the gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia?

A ceasefire must be swiftly brokered by creating effective conditions for a de-escalation on the ground. Mr. Laurent Fabius is in regular contact with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in order to achieve that. He notably spoke with Sergey Lavrov on June 15.

With respect to the gas dispute, President Hollande stressed to his Russian counterpart the need to reach an agreement on how to continue the supply of gas from Russia to Ukraine.

Sudan – Bombing of a Doctors without Borders hospital (June 16, 2014)

France condemns the bombing on June 16 of the village of Farandallah in South Kordofan, badly damaging a hospital managed by Doctors without Borders and injuring 6 people, including a Doctors without Borders worker.

The intensification of air strikes targeted against civilian infrastructure in Sudan is unacceptable. Several hospitals have been targeted in recent weeks. The targeting of civilian facilities is a violation of the Second Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, which was ratified by Sudan.

France calls on the Sudanese government to relaunch the inclusive national dialogue that it pledged to initiate in order to put an end to the fighting and restore humanitarian access in the conflict areas.


Appointment of Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (June 16, 2014)

France welcomes the appointment of Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, who until now served as Jordan’s Permanent Representative in New York, as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

It wishes him every success in carrying out the important missions entrusted to him.

We express our deep gratitude for the work carried out over the last 6 years by Navenethem Pillay, who promoted the role of high commissioner, maintained her independence and spoke out for the most vulnerable.

Syria

A preliminary report by the OPCW concludes that chemical weapons, including chlorine, have been systematically used in Syria. What progress has been made with respect to the analyses conducted in France over the last few weeks? How will the international community respond following the publication of this report?

The OPCW’s preliminary report confirms our suspicions: Chemical agents, including chlorine, have been used on several occasions in the last few months against the population in Syria.

The investigations should continue in order to provide indisputable evidence that the regime is continuing to use chemical weapons in violation of its international commitments.