The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - February 1, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Syria – Humanitarian situation

◢  Turkey

Syria – Humanitarian situation

France condemns the bombing targeted against a Doctors without Borders hospital as well as a market in the town of Saraqeb on January 29, and against a market in the town of Ariha on January 30. These attacks killed several civilians and destroyed the Doctors without Borders hospital. Like those targeted against Eastern Ghouta on a daily basis and the rest of Idlib Province, these attacks are unacceptable.

Russia and Iran, as guarantors of the Astana process and allies of the Damascus regime, must urgently take the necessary steps to put an end to the bombing and ensure the safe, full and unrestricted delivery of humanitarian assistance to those who need it.

Furthermore, France reiterates its concern with respect to Turkey's intervention in Afrin. Although this intervention may be justified by Turkey's legitimate security concerns, it must not exacerbate the humanitarian situation of the Syrian population.

France reaffirms that the attacks deliberately targeted against civilians, as well as health centers and their personnel, are a serious violation of international humanitarian law. UNSCR 2286, the adoption of which we actively supported, calls for the protection of medical facilities and personnel in conflict situations. France calls for close consultation between allies and partners in order to remedy this situation.

Given the continued hostilities on the ground, efforts to find a lasting political solution, negotiated under UN auspices and in accordance with UNSCR 2254, must be continued.


The third hearing in the trial of the Turkish Amnesty International leaders Taner KiliÁ and Idil Eser, and nine other human rights activists, including the German and Swedish nationals, Peter Steudtner and Ali Gharavi, was held yesterday in Istanbul. After the court ruled in favor of releasing Taner Kiliç yesterday, he remained in detention following an appeal by the prosecutor. Does France have a response to that?

France was deeply concerned to learn that Taner Kiliç, the head of the Turkish branch of Amnesty international, was still being detained despite yesterday's decision to release him. As we have done since he was arrested last June, we continue to demand his swift release.

The Consulate General of France attended all of the hearings. France is committed to everyone's right to a fair trial. Once again we call on Turkey to abide by its European and international commitments on human rights and fundamental liberties.

France will continue to closely follow the trial of Taner Kiliç and the other human rights activists who are still being tried with him. NGOs such as Amnesty International are a vital part of any democratic society.

Following his meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Paris on January 15, the French President publicly stated that he had "brought up the cases of several heads of NGOs" and stressed that "our democracies must fully abide by the rule of law."

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