The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris -August 24, 2015
In this issue:

◢  Syria – Bombing in Douma (August 22, 2015)

◢  Syria – UNESCO World Heritage – Destruction of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra (August 23, 2015)

◢  Tunisia – Terrorist attack in Bouchebka (August 23, 2015)

◢  Somalia – Terrorist attacks (August 22, 2015)

◢  Belarus – Prisoner release (August 24)

◢  Venezuela –Tenth anniversary of Maracaibo plane crash

Syria – Bombing in Douma (August 22, 2015)

France condemns the renewed airstrikes by the Damascus regime against the city of Douma on August 22, less than a week after a barbaric attack. The provisional toll following these airstrikes is 34 dead, including 20 women and children.

The perpetrators of these attacks, which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, must be brought to justice.

The only way to resolve the current conflict is through a political solution based on the Geneva Communiqué.

Syria – UNESCO World Heritage – Destruction of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra (August 23, 2015)

France condemns the destruction by Daesh of the Temple of Baalshamin, one of the treasures of the ancient city of Palmyra, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The destruction by Daesh of major historic and religious sites in Syria and Iraq confirm the terrorist group’s determination to destroy cultural diversity in the Middle East dating back thousands of years.

France is committed to ensuring its preservation.

Tunisia – Terrorist attack in Bouchebka (August 23, 2015)

France condemns the terrorist attack carried out in Bouchebka, where armed men killed a Tunisian customs officer on August 23, and injured several others.

France extends its condolences to the victim’s family.

We reaffirm our solidarity with the Tunisian authorities and people and stand alongside them in the fight against terrorism.

Somalia – Terrorist attacks (August 22, 2015)

France condemns the attacks carried out on August 22 against a Somali army training camp near Kismayo and a police station in Mogadishu, which claimed the lives of more than 20 Somali soldiers and civilians and injured almost 30 others.

We extend our condolences to the victims’ families. The perpetrators of these acts must be brought to justice.

France pays tribute to the action of all those working to promote peace and security in Somalia, especially the African Union mission. It assures the Somali authorities and people of its solidarity.

Belarus – Prisoner release (August 24)

France welcomes the release of six prisoners in Belarus, particularly Nikolai Statkevich, Nikolai Dziadok and Igor Olinievich.

This is an important step toward improving relations with Belarus. We expect the Belarusian authorities to continue on this path.

Venezuela – Tenth anniversary of Maracaibo plane crash

Ten years after the catastrophic plane crash in eastern Venezuela that left 162 dead, including 151 of our compatriots from Martinique, we join those who are paying tribute to the victims of that tragedy.

On August 21, our Embassy in Venezuela welcomed a delegation of the victims’ families and loved ones to Maracaibo. Our compatriots traveled to the accident site in Machiques, where they laid a wreath on the monument honoring those who died.

A ceremony was also held on August 22 at the cemetery in Maracaibo.

The Venezuelan authorities, represented by the mayor of Machiques and officials from the government of Zulia State, received the French delegation and expressed their solidarity.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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