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Official speeches and statements - March 29, 2022

Published on March 29, 2022

1. Saudi Arabia - Reminder - Conversation between the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and his counterpart - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (excerpt) (Paris - March 28, 2022)

The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, spoke to his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

He reiterated France’s strong condemnation of the attacks on Saudi territory carried out by the Houthis on March 25, and lent his support to initiatives aimed at a comprehensive and inclusive political solution to the Yemen conflict.

He emphasized the need for strong international mobilization to increase pressure on Russia to end the offensive in Ukraine. He stressed the importance of continuing the coordination undertaken with Saudi Arabia with a view to diversifying European States’ energy supplies.

He discussed regional crises with his counterpart and welcomed the concrete results of the work begun by France and Saudi Arabia following the French President’s visit to Jeddah in December 2021 and the Saudi Foreign Minister’s visit to Paris last month, with the launch of several projects enabling direct aid to the Lebanese people.

Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated the need for a return to the JCPOA as soon as possible.

2. Saudi Arabia - France condemns the attacks on Saudi territory - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - March 25, 2022)

France utterly condemns the attacks carried out by the Houthis today against Saudi territory, including civilian sites.

The attacks, which threaten Saudi Arabia’s security and the stability of the region, must cease immediately. They illustrate the seriousness of the threat posed to the whole region by the proliferation of drones and missiles, and the need to step up dialogue on regional security.

France remains fully mobilized to bring about a cessation of hostilities in Yemen and a relaunch of talks with a view to a comprehensive political agreement, under the aegis of the United Nations. We call on the Houthis to engage constructively to this end.

3. United Nations - Sudan - UNITAMS - Statement by Ms. Nathalie Broadhurst, deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York - March 28, 2022)

[translation from French]

Thank you, Madam President,

And I thank Special Representative Volker Perthes for his intervention.

I would like to stress three points.

France supports the action of the United Nations, the African Union and IGAD to facilitate dialogue between the stakeholders in the transition.

The Special Representative presented it to us today, a roadmap has been concluded following consultations with all the Sudanese stakeholders. It is not, of course, a prescription but rather a way of identifying convergences in order to resume dialogue. We naturally encourage this approach, noting that Sudanese ownership is key.

We again call on all international actors to support the action of the UN, the African Union and IGAD, and not to interfere with their efforts, not to exploit Sudan’s fragility for reasons of national interest.

Secondly, the immediate priority remains to restore a democratic transition.

Since the coup, the country has been in a political stalemate that jeopardizes the achievements of the transition and threatens the stability of the country. The repression of demonstrations, sexual violence, which the Special Representative also told us about, and the harassment of civil society increase tensions every day. We condemn the violence, which has left nearly 90 people dead since 25 October and many more injured.

It is the responsibility of the military authorities to create the conditions for a way out of the crisis, by deciding to return to constitutional order, by guaranteeing fundamental freedoms, by releasing political detainees and by prosecuting those responsible for abuses against civilians. The right of Sudanese men and women to express their views peacefully without fear of violence must be guaranteed. We stress the importance of good cooperation of the Sudanese authorities with UNITAMS in the implementation of its human rights mandate.

It is essential that the civilian movements agree on the main points of the negotiations. Without this consensus, it will be impossible to overcome the current political impasse. Any way out of the crisis will need to take into account the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people.

We therefore call on all stakeholders to engage in dialogue in a spirit of compromise and responsibility.

The third point concerns the exacerbated fragilities of Sudan.

There is an urgent need to overcome this political crisis because it only exacerbates existing fragilities.

We are particularly concerned about the resurgence of violence in Darfur but also in the Two Regions, which is also accompanied by restrictions on humanitarian access. In this regard, we welcome the continued work of the Ceasefire Committee, supported by UNITAMS, which has led to some progress. The authorities and the signatory parties must also accelerate the deployment of the joint force and agree on the modalities for the reintegration of combatants. Humanitarian access must of course be guaranteed.

We encourage the authorities to continue their contacts with the non-signatory groups of the Juba agreements and their efforts to ease tensions in eastern Sudan.

Finally, we are extremely concerned about the deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation. It is linked to the rise in food and fuel prices, aggravated and exacerbated by the Russian aggression against Ukraine. France will remain committed to the Sudanese people: we are continuing our cooperation with civil society, and this is why we will maintain our humanitarian assistance, as will the European Union, whose total aid amounted to 55 million euros last year.

I thank you.