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Libya/Syria

Published on September 19, 2011
Statement to the press by Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Bordeaux, September 16, 2011

Q. – Did you get the feeling you were living through History with a capital H in Libya yesterday?

THE MINISTER – The word “history” is often overused, but when Nicolas Sarkozy and I saw the Libyan people, in both Tripoli and Benghazi, who have liberated themselves from a 42-year dictatorship – the final part of it quite insane and bloody – it was a moment of very great pride, because all those men and women were well aware that France had played a decisive role in their liberation.

Q. – Do you think the same intervention could be envisaged in Syria?

THE MINISTER – No, the circumstances are entirely different. The Syrian opposition hasn’t asked us to intervene as was the case in Libya. Moreover, there’s no majority at the Security Council enabling us to provide a legal framework for an intervention. In spite of that, France has said – from the outset and in the clearest manner – that the crackdown against the Syrian people is unacceptable. But the situation there is complex, because Syrian society is complex and the risk of confrontation between the communities exists. However, we’re continuing to work with the Security Council to secure a slightly firmer resolution enabling sanctions to be put in place./.

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