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Syria/European Union

Published on June 28, 2013
Reply given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, June 26, 2013

You’ve summed up the Syria tragedy well. Generally speaking, Europe is on the right side, i.e. on the side of the resistance fighters opposed to dictator Bashar al-Assad. But there are – you highlighted them yourself – a number of differences and subtleties.

As far as humanitarian action is concerned, Europe is united. We are going to provide the hard-hit Syrian people with €600 million over two years. Regarding financial sanctions, here again, Europe is united. As regards lifting the embargo, we took a decision a while back which must be implemented from 1 August. It must obviously be given very careful consideration because if weapons are delivered, they must be traceable and not be turned against us.

You raise the matter – and it’s an essential one – of the Geneva conference. Yesterday there was a meeting between the Russians, the Americans and Mr Lakhdar Brahimi. The meeting wasn’t conclusive – i.e. the Geneva conference that France and the Europeans are insistently calling for probably won’t come together soon. But what must be clearly understood is that for this to produce results, the situation must be restabilized on the ground. Because if the resistance fighters are defeated by Bashar al-Assad and his supporters – that is, the Iranians and Hezbollah – then it will make it very difficult for them to take part.

We’re working towards this in order to find a political solution. It requires the situation to be restabilized on the ground. At any rate, whatever the subtle differences of the various countries of Europe, as far as France herself, her commitment and her conviction are concerned, as you’ve seen, we’re constantly taking a lead on this./.

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