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Published on January 29, 2014
Press briefing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman (excerpts)

Paris, January 28, 2014



Q. – Can we look at how things are progressing in Geneva? What’s your position vis-à-vis the road map the regime’s delegation presented yesterday?

THE SPOKESMAN – There’s a positive point: the negotiations are continuing. France is very committed to these negotiations and their positive outcome – i.e. putting a transition process in place. That’s the goal set by the United Nations Secretary-General.

For France, the position expressed by the Syrian regime is a delaying tactic. It doesn’t meet the goal set by the international community – that of a transition. We would nevertheless like the discussions to continue.

Q. – Specifically, what was in the five proposals put forward? Is it possible to give details?

THE SPOKESMAN – The five-point communiqué in no way meets the agenda set by the United Nations Secretary-General. The proposal doesn’t come under the framework set by the international community. It’s a delaying tactic which doesn’t surprise us insofar as the Syrian minister also made remarks which in no way met the agenda at the opening of the conference. What’s most important today is for the discussions to be pursued in the framework set by the United Nations Secretary-General.

We also have to make progress on a number of confidence-building and humanitarian measures. I’m thinking of local ceasefires and humanitarian access to the people. I’m thinking in particular of the city of Homs, one of Syria’s martyred cities, where France is calling for both an end to the violence and for humanitarian access to the people, who have been suffering for months, not to say years, from a siege by the Syrian army, with some districts where people are literally being starved by the regime. So from the Geneva process we’re expecting both significant progress on a political transition and emergency humanitarian measures to alleviate the Syrian people’s suffering. (…)./.

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