Syria – Egypt – CAR
Q. – Syria has just signed (yesterday, Wednesday 25 December) a 25-year agreement with a Russian company for oil and gas prospection in Syrian territorial waters. What’s your reaction? Does France – which has recognized the Syrian opposition coalition as the “sole representative of the Syrian people” – regard this agreement as legal under international law? Is the agreement in line with the sanctions principles advocated by France and the European Union?
THE SPOKESMAN – There are European sanctions, which don’t apply to relations between Russia and the Syrian regime.
Our priority is the search for a political solution addressing the Syrian people’s legitimate aspirations.
Pressure is necessary to ensure the regime stops bombarding civilians, particularly in Aleppo, and allows humanitarian access to provide help to the population, as the Security Council has been demanding since 2 October. (…)
Q. – What’s your reaction following the Egyptian government’s decision to put the Muslim Brotherhood party on its list of terrorist groups? Have there been any contacts, and has any advice been given to the Egyptian authorities? Yesterday the Egyptian government officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be “a terrorist organization”, the day after a suicide car bomb attack that claimed 15 lives in the north of the country. What’s your reaction? A bus was also targeted by a bomb in Cairo this morning.
THE SPOKESMAN – France’s position on terrorism is clear and steadfast: we condemn it in all its forms. In this regard, we remind you of our statement of 24 December.
In the period Egypt is currently experiencing, it’s important for all political parties and tendencies to take part in the transition process, with due regard for pluralism, freedom of expression, human rights and respect for all the communities, in line with the commitments made by the authorities. All political organizations must be able to take part in this, provided they renounce violence and respect democratic principles.
France reaffirms its full support for the transition process under way in Egypt in order for elected, democratic institutions to be established in the country according to the timetable announced.
Q. – Five Chadian soldiers from MISCA [AFISM-CAR] have been killed in Bangui. There was total confusion in the capital on Wednesday, according to a MISCA spokesman. The Chadians are going to be redeployed in the north, a sign that their presence in Bangui does represent a problem and not a solution. Libération provides an account by a Sangaris officer saying soldiers from the Chadian contingent aimed their weapons at the French. How would you describe the current situation? Is the French contingent going to be increased? Redeployed?
THE SPOKESMAN – France extends its condolences to the families of the soldiers killed in Bangui and to the Chadian authorities.
France is closely following the situation in the Central African Republic. It is continuing its mission in support of MISCA and implementing the mandate given by the Security Council.
Regarding the use of the French soldiers, I would ask you to address the Defence Minister./.