Q. – In Geneva, there were two Syrian delegations: Bashar al-Assad and the opposition were talking to each other. Are they going to end up agreeing on a ceasefire?
THE MINISTER – It’s difficult at the moment…
Q. – At least so that humanitarian action can save the Syrians from famine, disease and death!
THE MINISTER – Well, yes, that’s the priority. It’s the priority because we mustn’t forget that there are dozens and dozens of deaths in Syria every day – even though a lot less is said about it, because journalists are being threatened. It’s an appalling situation.
I participated in the Geneva conference and it was totally obvious: on one side, you’ve got Bashar al-Assad’s men, whose goal is to protect his clan; and on the other, you’ve got the moderate opposition, which wants to protect the Syrian people.
Q. – So what’s being done? What about him, is he staying put?
THE MINISTER – We pushed for a discussion – it took place, but hasn’t produced much so far; things must be speeded up, especially on the humanitarian front, and if the Russians, the Iranians and the Syrians, etc., don’t budge, we’ll have to re-envisage going to the UN and saying, “humanitarian aid first and foremost”. It’s intolerable that dozens and dozens of people, every day, who’ve done absolutely nothing, are killed.
Q. – In other words it’s going to take a long time, but is the solution still a political one for you?
THE MINISTER – Yes, there’s no solution other than a political one (…)./.