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Syria/humanitarian aid

Published on November 30, 2011
Reply by Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, November 29, 2011

Once again in this Assembly, I’d like to condemn the savage crackdown the Syrian regime is carrying out on its population. More than 3,500 dead and tens of thousands of people injured, imprisoned and missing. As early as 7 September, I spoke here about crimes against humanity, and as you recalled, the Human Rights Council’s international Commission of Inquiry has just used that expression in its latest report.

Every day that goes by takes us closer to a major humanitarian crisis. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says 1.5 million Syrians need international aid to feed themselves.

In Geneva, the international Commission of Inquiry on human rights violations mentions in its report the violation of rights of access to health, food and water. Last week I received a delegation from the Syrian National Council, who appealed to France for help and asked me to speak out on the need to provide access to humanitarian aid in Syria.

That’s what I did immediately, firstly by approaching the Arab League, which, as you know, is fully involved in the search for a solution to the Syrian crisis, then by asking the European Union – it will be done on Thursday – to approach the Arab League, Turkey and the 27 member states to take the necessary initiatives to that effect. Finally, I asked our Permanent Representative to the Security Council to begin consultations within the Council. So the idea is to give the Syrian regime notice to meet its international obligations in terms of access to humanitarian aid.

It will be a tough battle, given the regime’s stubbornness, but we’ll fight it with the greatest determination so that the Syrian people know France stands alongside them and supports them with all the means she has available./.

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