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Syria/Burma/Libya/North Korea

Published on March 30, 2012
Excerpts from the press briefing given by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Spokesman

Paris, March 30, 2012

(…)

Syria

M. Alain Juppé has just spoken on the telephone to Mr Kofi Annan, the Joint UN and Arab League Special Envoy for Syria. He supported Mr Annan’s demand for the urgent implementation of emergency measures to enforce his plan, in particular – at a time when the regime is attacking its people – the withdrawal of the army and heavy weapons from the cities and an end to the crackdown.

Furthermore, I underline that France fully supports the Arab League’s efforts to find a solution to the crisis so that the Syrians who are sacrificing themselves for democracy will finally be able to freely determine their destiny.

The Syrian crisis dominated the debates at the Arab League summit that has just taken place in Baghdad.

The Arab League has been adopting a courageous position since November and proposed a political plan to resolve the crisis which was supported by nearly all UNGA member states. The final resolution adopted unanimously at the Baghdad summit is fully in line with this process and is notably based on the Arab League plan of 22 January.

It explicitly supports the mission of the Joint UN and Arab League Special Envoy for Syria, Mr Kofi Annan, whose mandate and proposals are based on the Arab League’s plan, in order to put an end to the violence and initiate a democratic transition in Syria. (…)

Myanmar/Burma

(…) The parliamentary by-elections that will take place on Sunday in Burma are of particular political significance. These are the first elections in which all opposition parties have been able to participate since 1990, unlike those of November 2010. The National League for Democracy has agreed to participate in them and Ms Aung San Suu Kyi herself is a candidate.

Shortcomings have been noted on the ground, as Ms Aung San Suu Kyi pointed out. President Thein Sein acknowledged this last week when he spoke about “unnecessary errors”. We expect the authorities to ensure that the elections are held in a democratic and transparent manner on Sunday. We’re keeping a close eye on this.
President Thein Sein has invited the EU, ASEAN, the United States and the United Nations to observe the voting process. Like her EU partners, France will send a diplomat from her embassy to participate in this.

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Reaction to the upsurge in violence and fighting between the Toubou group and Arab tribes in southern Libya

France is deeply concerned about the numerous victims of the violence that broke out on Saturday in Sabha. She appeals to the various key players for calm and encourages the transitional government to continue its efforts to stabilize the situation and encourage dialogue between the conflicting parties.

These tragic events highlight the urgent need to re-establish the state’s authority throughout Libyan territory and reorganize the national institutions responsible for security. They also demonstrate the importance of a political process that will take into account the needs of all Libyan regions and allow the various communities to play their full part.

France, together with the United Nations and the European Union, is striving to provide the new Libyan authorities with all the assistance they need, particularly regarding the reform of the security sector, while respecting Libya’s sovereignty.

France also encourages the Libyan authorities to continue their efforts to promote national reconciliation, which is a prerequisite for a successful transition process.

North Korea/rocket launch

(…) The space rocket launch envisaged by North Korea would clearly violate the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Indeed, space launch vehicles and ballistic missiles use very similar technology. However, UNSCR 1874 (2009) demands inter alia that North Korea does not conduct any “launch using ballistic missile technology”.

As soon as the announcement was made by Pyongyang on 16 March, we, like all our partners, called on North Korea to abandon these plans and comply with her international obligations. We renew this appeal.
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