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Official speeches and statements - January 31, 2022

Published on January 31, 2022

1. Ukraine - Statement by the advisers to the Normandy-format heads of State and government - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - January 26, 2022)

The advisers to the Normandy-format heads of State and government, with the participation of representatives of the foreign ministries, convened in Paris on January 26, 2022.

They reaffirm that the Minsk agreements are the basis of the work of the Normandy format and are committed to reducing current disagreements on the way forward.

They support unconditional observance of the ceasefire and full adherence to the measures to strengthen the ceasefire of July 22, 2020, regardless of differences on other issues related to the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

They discussed the importance of the Trilateral Contact Group and its working groups in intensifying their work with a view to swift progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

They agree to meet again in two weeks in Berlin.

2. Romania - Speech by Ms. Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, on the occasion of her meeting with Mr. Vasile Dîncu, Minister of National Defense of Romania (excerpt) (Bucharest - January 27, 2022)

I know that the current security situation on Europe’s eastern flank is worrying. In this context, Romanians are rightly concerned to strengthen their own security, at a time when tensions in Ukraine are constantly being aggravated. As an ally and as Europeans, we understand your situation and would like to lend you our support.

As President Emmanuel Macron recalled last week, we’ve made a substantial contribution to our European partners’ security in the framework of NATO missions in the Baltic countries, and we’ll continue to do so in the long term.

In the same spirit, he expressed our willingness to go further, always within the NATO framework, to commit us to new eFP (enhanced forward presence)-type missions, in particular in Romania, if they are decided on in NATO. A mission of experts from my ministry is arriving in Romania today to examine the parameters of this possible deployment.

Such a commitment would build perfectly on our current commitments: indeed, our air forces are often deployed along your coastline, and our navy is regularly deployed on exercises with the Romanian navy. This was the case again in December 2021 with the frigate Auvergne, which, after sailing on the Black Sea for several weeks, made a stopover in Costanţa. And it will be the case again because, as has long been planned, we’re envisaging new deployments in 2022.

In addition, we have officers posted to the NATO headquarters in Bucharest and Sibiu. So the fact that the French President is reaching out serves as a reminder of our commitment to Europe’s security.

As a founding member of both NATO and the European Union, France has a role to play in reassuring and protecting its allies and close partners. That’s why, as I said earlier, we’ve been present in Estonia and Lithuania since 2017 under NATO’s "enhanced forward presence" mission, and in Poland, Estonia and Lithuania since 2007 to regularly conduct air policing missions. Our deployments there will continue, as planned.

Minister, we’re living in difficult times. And in these difficult times, France stands by Romania. France is shouldering its responsibilities, as it’s always done. France doesn’t abandon its allies and friends. (...)

3. United Nations - Syria (Political) - Statement by Mrs Nathalie Broadhurst, deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York - January 27, 2022)

[translation from French]

Madam President,

I would also like to thank Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov for his intervention.

France is doing its utmost in the international fight against terrorism.

As we had the opportunity to express yesterday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack carried out on 20 January by Daech against a detention centre in Hassakeh, in north-eastern Syria. We commend the action of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the International Coalition in response to these events, and extend our condolences to the families of the soldiers who were killed in the attack.

This attack characterizes the resurgence of Daech throughout Syria, and in particular in the Badiya, which is unfortunately neither new nor a surprise, as this threat has in fact never disappeared. This is why we remain resolutely committed to the coalition alongside our partners in the fight against terrorism and impunity.

France will continue to play its full part in the international fight against terrorism in order to eradicate it and, at the very least, to contain this scourge.

Madam President,

The acts committed by terrorists in Syria are crimes that may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and those responsible for these crimes must be held accountable for their actions and not go unpunished.

France’s position is constant: all jihadists who have deliberately chosen to join Daech must, regardless of their nationality, be held accountable before the courts, as close as possible to the scene of their crimes, where their victims are, and where the evidence is.

This is the reason for our position with regard to the few French nationals held in detention centers in north-eastern Syria. This should not make us lose sight of the obvious, which is that the vast majority of those detained there are of Iraqi, Syrian and, to a lesser extent, Central Asian nationality. The question raised by the attack on Hassakeh is therefore a question of the protection of places of detention in general and not a question of the repatriation of a few Westerners who represent only a small minority of the people who are concerned there.

Madam President,

To eradicate terrorism in the region, a solution to the Syrian crisis is essential. This solution can only be political, as we all know.

The roadmap is Resolution 2254, which this Council adopted unanimously. We are determined to push for this, in support of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, G. Pedersen.

I thank you.