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France at the United Nations General Assembly

France at the United Nations General Assembly

Published on September 29, 2014
Statements by President Hollande, President of the French Republic

Address by Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic - Opening debate of the 69th session of the UNGA

New York, September 24, 2014

Madam President,

Delegation Leaders, Ladies and Gentlemen,

You will understand if I am expressing myself here today with particular emotion, because one of my compatriots has just been cravenly murdered in Algeria by a terrorist group linked to “Daesh.” His name was Hervé Gourdel; he was an enthusiastic man who loved mountaineering and, in traveling to the Djurdjura, in Algeria, was following his passion. He was captured and he was beheaded. That’s what terrorism does. And it doesn’t just do it to France. A few days ago, it was the Americans and the British who were subjected to the same barbarity.

These groups and that particular group, “Daesh,” do not strike only those who think differently from themselves. They strike Muslims. They strike civilian populations, they strike minorities. They rape, they kill. That is why the battle that the international community must wage against terrorism knows no borders. And it must carry the same flag, that of the United Nations, that of the values on which this organization was founded: human dignity, freedom, the vision we must have of the world of tomorrow, a world of justice.

France is fully engaged in this battle. That was the case in Africa, when it was called to Mali, where it was joined, fortunately, by many African and European countries and now by the United Nations. France engages whenever there is a risk. Now this threat is in Iraq and Syria. But it does not concern that region alone, for “Daesh” has decided not only to conquer territory, imagining that it will found a state. This group threatens the entire world by provoking attacks, organizing kidnappings, and recruiting fighters from around the world to train them and show them the barbarity of which it is capable, so that they may reproduce this horrific terrorist movement in our own countries.
It is because this threat menaces not only the region but the world that France responded to the Iraqi authorities’ appeal to provide them first with military aid through the delivery of weapons this past August, and then with air support to keep Daesh from continuing, from being able to continue its progression.

We want to weaken it. We want to quash it, but we also know that as long as there is no resolution to the Syrian crisis, all of our efforts may be undermined, so the challenge is not only to act against “Daesh,” but also to achieve a political solution. We, France, support the Syrian opposition, the democratic opposition. We consider it the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. And here too, we will not back down; we will not compromise because of threats. Bashar al-Assad’s regime deserves to be condemned all the more as it is complicit in what has been going on in Syria for the past three years, 200,000 deaths and so many displaced persons.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is a sad time for France, with the death – the murder – of one of our citizens, but France will never give in to blackmail, pressure or barbarous acts.

To the contrary, France knows what is expected of her. France knows that she upholds values, that she has a role to play and will never abandon it, and that the fight against terrorism will be continued and expanded as much as necessary while respecting the law and countries’ national sovereignty, for we make no mistake when we act – our actions always abide by the principles of the United Nations.

I also wanted to talk to you about other regions of the world that are also facing threats that affect our own security. I wanted to talk to you about the Ebola epidemic because I know how much it is affecting our African friends. But again, let’s look beyond those who are affected.

Does anyone believe that the epidemic will remain confined to a few countries if we don’t intervene? This is also a global threat. Again, the response must be a global one. And so France, Europe, the world must provide the countries that are affected by this epidemic with the medical care they need, the essential protection and the economic assistance that is expected. Because again, if there’s the slightest weakness, the slightest failure to show solidarity, all of our countries will be affected.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I also came here to talk to you about what is happening in Europe, next to Europe, about what has happened in Ukraine, where the principles of international law have also been flouted. But what’s at stake today, even in Europe, is peace and ensuring that the ceasefire can lead to a lasting settlement of the conflict. No country is safe from any kind of threat. Everything is fragile, everything is precarious, everything is vulnerable. We need to have the same awareness of the risks, the dangers and the perils as we did after the Second World War. We have to believe that it’s not simply a matter of a duty to remember but a duty to look toward the future. To know what sort of world we want.

The world we want, and this is the last point that I want to mention here, must take climate change into consideration. Because the current disruption doesn’t just threaten our generation but also - of course - the next generation; it threatens our security, because more people are now being displaced because of climate disruption than because of the wars on our planet that are, unfortunately, so intense and so deadly.

Here again, France has assumed its responsibilities in this respect. It decided to host the climate conference in December 2015. I welcome the fact that, thanks to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon there was a summit here that enabled us to raise awareness, mobilize States, financial institutions, businesses, and civil society; numerous demonstrations have taken place. Because the Paris Conference must succeed, not because it’s in Paris but because it’s an appointment that the world has with itself. There are times, periods in history when we can decide, not just for ourselves but for humanity. That time has come. In Paris, we have to do everything possible to reach a global agreement, an agreement that can be binding, that can be differentiated according to levels of development, to ensure that we will have the Green Fund to which France has dedicated a billion dollars over the next few years. I hope that other countries will follow us because we need this Green Fund to enable countries that don’t have the same level of development to be able to ensure their growth and at the same time make the transition to other forms of energy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This is a sad moment for me on behalf of France and a sad moment for the French people, but it’s also a wakeup call and a time to assume our responsibilities. For the world, for the planet, we must fight against terrorism. We must take action for peace. We must reduce inequalities. We must also do our duty for future generations, ensure that the Paris climate conference is a success and ensure that the UN can be faithful to the mandate entrusted to it following a war, a terrible war. But there are challenges that lie ahead. We are certain that we can overcome them if we can unite and work together and thereby claim victory.

Thank you.

Press Conference by President Hollande in New York City

New York, September 24, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For France, this General Assembly session will always be marked by the tragedy of French national Hervé Gourdel’s murder, which the Security Council unanimously denounced just a few minutes ago. This tragic event aroused great emotion worldwide, but particularly in France. This tragic event underscores yet again the extent to which the fight against terrorism must be waged at every level and in every place, wherever it thrives.

The reason I want to come back this to tragedy, this cruel murder, for a moment, is to tell you that I was just in touch with the Algerian Prime Minister who confirmed that he will continue to mobilize all his forces to find the murderers so that they may be punished, and to find the body of French national Hervé Gourdel. We owe it to his family and we owe it to the French people, who demonstrated great solidarity and also their awareness that this danger is real and that we cannot separate terrorism in various parts of the world—West Africa, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Somalia – from what happens in Europe and in France.

That is why it was so important to have a Security Council resolution that was adopted unanimously: resolution 2178 on foreign fighters. Those who travel in particular to Iraq and Syria, although not only those to areas, and who are trained in every sense of the term. Lured into terrorist networks, induced to fight, even at the risk of their lives, induced to wage war, even in their own countries. This resolution is very important because it shows unanimity, not only at the Security Council but throughout the world, for this issue concerns us all. It includes such aspects as the movement of people, financing, cracking down on Internet networks and sites that spread an ideology of hate, the effort that must be made to combat organized trafficking networks, and the coordination of our intelligence services. It concerns, via this resolution, all countries that want to join in and commit themselves. As I speak, more than 110 countries have signed this resolution, which, in any case, engages the international community.

This UN General Assembly was also very important with respect to counterterrorism and the fight against Daesh in particular, although I don’t want to dismiss what happened in Libya, which calls for the mobilization of the international community. Indeed, in my speech at the Security Council, with the UN Secretary General, I expressed support for an action to restore security, order and the rule of law in Libya.

Nor do I want to minimize what is going on in Nigeria, because there, too, there is a movement with the same pretensions, the same vocation as Daesh in Iraq and Syria. In other words, Boko Haram wants to control a portion of the territory and engage in brutalities. I have not forgotten the girls, the children, the schools that were destroyed, the students burned alive.

This counterterrorism effort focuses in particular on Iraq and Syria. I renewed our support for the Iraqi authorities and the international community. Our support through the delivery of weapons, which was already done in August. Support through air protection. Tomorrow, I will have the opportunity to explain these operations at the Defense Council. With respect to Syria, I met with the head of the Syrian opposition – for France, the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people – to confirm the support we are providing them, support in every form.

Finally, I want to emphasize two important points dealt with at the General Assembly. The first is Ebola, a major epidemic that can destabilize nations and spark civil wars if we’re not careful. And above all, it can undermine our own security as well. We can no longer separate or draw distinctions between insecurity in one part of the world and the vulnerability of the entire planet. Here too, France made commitments to Guinea, setting up a military hospital. We will continue to provide all possible assistance so that this part of Africa can be saved, for that’s what’s at stake.

The second point is the mobilization on climate. This issue is particularly important to France as in December 2015 we will be hosting the conference that will finally settle the question of a comprehensive, binding and differentiated agreement. These formulations have now been accepted by all the participants. Before Paris, the EU will hold a meeting in late October to specify the commitments of its 28 member states; there will be the COP20 conference in Lima; and finally Paris. In order for Paris to succeed, for us to reach this agreement, preparations must be made well in advance. And what the UN Secretary-General has done here bodes well for what we can expect for the Paris conference – and speeches by American and Chinese leaders are notably going in the direction we hope for. This mobilization is very important because the issue is also one of security. There’s the security of today’s generation, today’s generations – and terrorism is a threat, a threat that strikes, alas, as we’ve seen – but the planet’s future is also a matter of security for future generations.

For all these reasons, including what I just said about the tragic event that concerns France but not only France, for I am not forgetting all the victims of terrorism, I am not singling any out, there is no hierarchy to establish, all those who are victims of terrorism deserve the same regard, the same consideration, the same respect. But this was an act that was directed against France, and France will respond appropriately, based on its values, its principles and its duties.

I am ready to take a few questions.

Thank you, Mr. President. On behalf of the United Nations Correspondents Association, welcome and thank you for this press conference. I’m Pamela Falk with CBS News.

My question relates to Syria. You mentioned – and have spoken a lot about –the legality of strikes without the consent of the concerned government. Why is France willing to carry out airstrikes in Iraq and not in Syria, apart from the fact that you can’t do everything, of course.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, as you say, we can’t do everything, and it’s important to do the job right. And to begin by responding to a request addressed to us – addressed to me – by the new Iraqi authorities when I traveled to Baghdad and Erbil. France was asked directly to provide air support. I therefore took the decision to provide this protection in consultation with the Iraqi authorities, but also with our allies, in the framework of the coalition.

On the Monday following my trip to Baghdad, I convened the conference on Iraq. Because as far as France is concerned, Iraq must take priority. There is – you are right to emphasize it – a terrorist group, Daesh, that is expanding outside of Iraq and which in fact is partly rooted in Syria. I’m not reconsidering what I said a year ago about the need to conduct an international action against the Syrian regime, which had used chemical weapons. We can see what’s happened: this alliance of extremists, the Assad regime and the Daesh group, which have the same goal, to fight the only real legitimate authorities, which are the Syrian opposition. Now it’s the Americans and a certain number of Gulf States that are conducting operations, operations that may turn out to be useful. I discussed them with the head of the Syrian opposition. But for now, as far as France is concerned, we will provide direct assistance to the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian opposition. Why? Because the bombardments are necessary, air protection is essential, but it is the people of Iraq and Syria who must wage this battle. It is they who will reconquer the territories that were lost to this terrorist group.

But let me remind you that France will continue its operations in Iraq.

Q: For now?

I think it is our duty to be in Iraq first as part of the task-sharing arrangement organized with our allies.

Q: Might that change? Could it evolve?

It doesn’t need to evolve because for now, we’re at the beginning of the operation.

Q: If France is only intervening in Iraq, doesn’t that mean that it’s only intervening halfway? Aren’t you afraid that France will lose on both counts, I mean that it will seem to be playing a subsidiary role with respect to the United States on one hand, while remaining a priority target for terrorists on the other?

I don’t understand your question. If we were in Syria, you’d say we were playing a subsidiary role because we were with the Americans. We are intervening in Iraq. This is a decision we’ve made with our allies and on a sovereign basis. We are doing this because we were asked. This is the beginning of the operation and we have undertaken commitments that few countries deemed necessary. France was the country to supply weapons to the Iraqi authorities and to Iraqi Kurdistan. France was the country that did the most with regard to aid in Iraq, given what was going on with the persecution of religious minorities and Iraqi Christians. Remember what happened this summer. France was also the first to recognize the Free Syrian Army as the sole representative of the Syrian people. France was the first to support the Free Syrian Army.

We are an independent, sovereign nation capable of assuming our responsibilities and doing so within an alliance. With the Iraqi authorities, we decided to help them win back their territory. In case you’re forgetting, Mosul is still occupied, and part of Iraq’s territory is still under Daesh control. Operations are therefore being conducted by the Americans as well, both in Iraq and in Syria. All that is part of the fight we must carry out in a coordinated manner with our allies, who are not only American – there are also many countries from the region and from the entire international community.

Finally, let me remind you that I met with President Rouhani yesterday, because I believe that Iran must also play a role in this fight.

You said yesterday in your statement that everything was being done to ensure the security of France and French citizens in the face of the terrorist threat. We learned a few hours later that three so-called jihadists arriving from Turkey had been arrested at Orly; however, they were never arrested and these so-called dangerous individuals went to the police station themselves. Have you demanded an explanation for this confusion? Have you also asked Turkey for an explanation? What do you think of the police’s conduct in this matter?

Individuals are traveling through Turkey in order to go to a number of locations in Syria and Iraq. Cooperation with Turkey is absolutely essential. Obviously, there were some failings in this instance. I discussed the matter with the Turkish authorities. And I’ve asked the minister of the interior to travel to Turkey in the next few days in order to clarify cooperation and procedures.

Individuals suspected of having traveled to a number of locations where there’s fighting can’t be sent back on a plane without being accompanied or without the French authorities being informed in advance.

An investigation has also been launched by the minister of the interior to establish what happened when they arrived in Marseille and why these three individuals were not arrested at that time.

Tomorrow at the Defense Council meeting we will take further measures with respect to France if necessary. But obviously cooperation with Turkey must be strengthened.

What kind of measures?

Measures that will make it possible to monitor individuals since the legislation has not yet been passed; as you know, the bill has only been passed in the National Assembly. We will therefore have to take additional surveillance measures within the framework of the existing legislation.

Today you called for national unity, for cooperation, right across the political spectrum. The debate in Parliament just before had underscored this, since Mr. Fillon for example shares this position; do you think that this consensus, this national unity, can last, even if the military operations continue for a very long time or if other hostages are unfortunately taken? Can you provide us with more insight into what will come out of the Defense Council meeting tomorrow?

Regarding the second question, let’s wait until the Defense Council has met. I told you that the agenda will include what we need to do in Iraq: the military operations, and at the same time what we also have to do to ensure the safety of our compatriots in France and abroad. I would like to take this opportunity to remind people of the need to exercise vigilance when traveling to certain areas that are considered dangerous. Regarding your question relating to national unity, we achieved that even before our hostage was murdered, at the debate in Parliament this afternoon, and I welcome the views expressed by all political groups, at least those represented in Parliament. Everyone recognized that it was in the greater interest, not just in the interest of France as such since our forces are involved, but also in the interest of security, the security of our fellow citizens, the collective security of the world, not just this region. We’re not calling for national unity with respect to other issues, only those that are critical, those that bring us together beyond our differences, and with respect to which I, in my capacity as President of the Republic, am the guarantor. There are issues that will inevitably still be subject to political debate, and I trust the various political groups to express these positions. But we need to come together to prevent the terrorists from potentially using the rules of democracy for their own benefit. And the best way to respond to such a despicable act, such a contemptible crime, is to see it as a wake-up call, to promote this cooperation, this unity. But I would like to say one last word. Unity doesn’t just apply to the political forces but to the national community. There’s a serious risk, as you know, of pitting French people against each other, based on their religion, their beliefs, on where they’re from. But no, the terrorists will not succeed in doing that. I welcome the response by the authorities who represent Islam in France in particular, as well as by all religions, and by those who don’t profess any religion, that involves saying no, religion will not be used or exploited in this debate about the national interest. It concerns all French people; all citizens, all inhabitants, wherever they come from, must bear these rules in mind. We are united, not just at the level of the political forces; we are united - all French citizens - in order to respond to terrorism.

In the face of the spread of Daesh in the region, in Lebanon, which is a new arena for the war against the “Infidels,” will the Eastern Christians, in Lebanon, be forced to leave the region?

When I went to Iraq, and notably to Erbil, this question was raised. I met with representatives of the Christians of Iraq, who are also closely linked to the Christians of Syria, the Christians of Lebanon, and the Eastern Christians. They all told me that they wanted to stay, that they wanted to return to their towns, their villages. For some of those who have relatives in France we’ve started procedures to allow them to come to France. But our goal is precisely to ensure that the Middle East remains what it was before, i.e., a place for people of all faiths to live, for all those who make up the cultural wealth of this part of the world, so we have a double duty: a duty to take action to ensure that Christians can return to their homes, and a duty to welcome those who may have to come, not just Christians, but also Yazidis and others who may have to come to France because they have family ties there.

You mentioned Nigeria, and Boko Haram. A spokesperson from the Nigerian army stated that the leader of Boko Haram had been killed. Can you confirm or refute this information?

I cannot confirm this information. President Goodluck was at the Security Council and did not provide this information. That doesn’t mean that it’s not true, but in any case it hasn’t been confirmed.

The French authorities had noted that all available government means had been used to try and secure the release of Hervé Gourdel; you recognized the authorities’ pessimism, you said that there would be no negotiations. What attempts were made, what did the Algerian authorities tell us, was there any contact with the kidnappers?

The Algerian authorities mobilized a large number of forces; more than 1,500 soldiers went to the area. It’s an extremely wooded area, which is particularly difficult to access and the efforts to clean up, inspect and monitor the area are extremely difficult; we didn’t have enough time to find Hervé Gourdel. That’s why he was executed very quickly; the terrorists knew that they were being hunted. The Algerian authorities confirmed that they were going to continue, and I asked them to do so in the name of France, so that the criminals can be punished and so that Hervé Gourdel’s body can be returned to his family. I spoke with the family. It was extremely difficult and serious. The family was expecting the worst, and when the worst happens… I had to share the information that had been reported, including in the press, i.e. there were reports, the family didn’t know yet, but they could imagine, and I had to confirm this information. With respect to all these issues, you have to do your duty, you did that, and that’s the freedom of information, but you should be aware that there are always families who are affected. So it’s always a difficult task: to provide information - people have a right to that - but at the same time, you have to do it with as much dignity as possible for the families who are grieving. I therefore called the family very quickly to confirm this information.

U.N. Security Council - Address by Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic

New York, September 24, 2014

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary-General,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to begin by thanking President Obama and all the members of the Security Council for sharing in the sorrow of the French people at this painful time.

Indeed, Hervé Gourdel, who was a French national, and who was going to enjoy his favorite leisure activity, mountaineering in Algeria, had been held hostage since Sunday and was murdered in horrific circumstances, as he was beheaded.

This is not the first time that France has been affected by terrorist acts, and she has never given in. Each time, she emerges stronger and more united. Other countries too have been struck by this barbarity. Just a few days ago, two Americans and a Briton were treated in the same, equally cruel manner. And nationality is of no importance—all victims of terrorism deserve the respect and the tribute we owe to their memory. Nor is religion of any importance. All victims are equal before the brutality, alas, of terrorism.

Terrorism is not a new reality, we have been confronting it for years, but it has taken on a new dimension, is making new claims. It wants to conquer territories, it wants to organize States, it wants to subjugate populations, it is striking at civilians, women, children. It has new names, it is no longer called only al-Qaeda or AQIM, but Boko Haram or “Daesh.” Indeed, “Daesh” is the most recent incarnation of this terrorist madness. Its nature is new in the sense that it is determined to conquer and also to attract a growing number of our fellow citizens, wherever they are, to this battle. It draws people who are often young and of all nationalities. And not only, as it is often said, of Muslim origin. Although Islam has nothing to do with this fight.

None of our countries is safe; none, not even the most distant. There are temptations and there is the Internet, which helps the network to organize. Each day, men, women and even children, whole families leave to join “Daesh”’s fight. And it’s a challenge to our own security. A little while ago, President Obama mentioned 15,000 foreign fighters. Among those 15,000 are 1,000 French nationals – or French residents – in Syria and Iraq, and this number has risen by 50% since the beginning of the year. And what’s true for France is true for Europe as a whole.

Our response must therefore be global; it must be swift and it must be lasting. First, measures must be adopted in each of our countries. France, in this regard, has adapted its legislation and a bill is before Parliament. It aims to forestall, to prevent the departure of individuals, of prohibiting it, even, when there are serious reasons to think that they are traveling for purposes of terrorism. There is also a determination to challenge terrorist propaganda on the Internet and sites promoting hate will be shut down. Finally, our legislation will organize the fight against networks, as these foreign fighters do not leave on their own; they leave because they are part of a network, and there are also organizations that take them all the way to combat zones.

This is a very important moment, with the Security Council’s adoption of a new resolution under Chapter 7. This strategy we’ve defined is a global strategy to fight terrorism, not just by understanding the phenomenon of foreign fighters but all networks that lead the young or less young, but often very young, to go where they’ve got no business going. We must bolster the international legal system, and this resolution is also a reflection of the firmness and unity of the entire international community.

We face a common threat, we have a common response. It is multi-pronged. It is military – and all of us must shoulder our responsibilities – France has done so, in responding to requests from the new Iraqi authorities, and here I’d like to hail the Prime Minister of Iraq. The response is also political, economic and humanitarian. But our meeting is also an act of will. We must combat all kinds of trafficking, and I mean all kinds. For it is trafficking that finances terrorism, and never have these groups been so powerful, so well-funded, so energized, so well-armed.

So we need a response that can not only combat influences and indoctrination, but also the sources of terrorist funding. Finally, we must conduct this strategy while respecting the law and freedoms, we must do so while respecting religions and notably Islam. We must do so while fighting the causes of terrorism: despair, poverty, inequalities, everything that gives rise to fanaticism. We must do so without the slightest weakness, but at the same time with the intelligence bestowed by democracy.

Against barbarity, strength is not only necessary but legitimate, and at the same time it is not enough. Political solutions are needed to dry up the very sources of what causes terrorism, and France will participate fully in this effort.

Thank you.

Terrorism - Statement by President Hollande

New York, September 23, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am here in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, and notably the Climate Summit, since France is engaged and is hosting a conference next year where an agreement must be reached on this issue that is so crucial to the future of our planet.

But given the circumstances, I wanted to address you directly. One of our compatriots, a particularly courageous mountain climber named Hervé Gourdel, was kidnapped yesterday evening in Algeria in the mountainous region of Djurdjura, 100 kilometers from Algiers.

I spoke yesterday evening with the Algerian Prime Minister, Mr. Sellal, to ensure maximum cooperation and make sure that our agencies exchange all information that may be useful. I have full confidence that the Algerian security forces will do everything they can to help us find our compatriot. He was captured by a terrorist group that says it is linked to Daesh, which gives you an idea of the global threat. My heart goes out to him right now – held captive, his life and existence threatened. I applaud the dignity and courage of his family, his whole family. I was able to speak to his companion this morning and to his parents as well. It is an ordeal, and in this ordeal, the family must know that it has the solidarity and full support of France.

I am also calling on all our compatriots located in sensitive areas to exercise vigilance because we are under threat, because we are combating terrorism, because it is important to take all necessary precautions and heed all the information issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, notably for a certain number of regions. The Interior Minister himself has stepped up all surveillance measures to avert any possible threats of attack. We are moving forward with arrests whenever necessary. This in fact legitimizes the bill adopted by the National Assembly to further strengthen counterterrorism efforts while respecting the law. As I said, we are facing a global threat. Which is therefore everywhere. Which is not only targeting France, which is targeting all countries where there is freedom, democracy, the rule of law. And I reaffirm here: as serious as this situation is, we will not give in to blackmail, to pressure or to ultimatums, even the most heinous, the most despicable. For what’s at stake is our freedom, our security and our sovereignty. No terrorist group can have the slightest influence on France’s position, France’s resolve, France’s freedom. Our best response to this threat, to this aggression, is national unity in this war—for a war it is—on terror.

This, I repeat, is my decision and it will be conveyed to Parliament on Wednesday: We will continue to provide support for the Iraqi authorities, to provide them with the weapons that are needed to fight the Daesh terrorist group, this group that has now spread in Iraq and Syria. We will continue to protect Iraqi airspace and to give those who are fighting the terrorists the means to do so.

As for Syria, our allies carried out an operation there yesterday evening, as part of our division of labor. We are in Iraq, others are in Syria. Our efforts are targeting the same group. And this afternoon I will meet with the head of Syria’s democratic opposition who, let me remind you, is for us Syria’s only legitimate representative.

Too much time has been lost. We know this. A year ago, I sounded the alert, issued a warning. We have no more time to lose in the action we must carry out. What is under way is a long-term battle that will go on for as long as it takes, but must go on to the very end. Beyond the support that we – France and our allies that have mobilized – can provide, this battle can only be won if the populations themselves fight to obtain their dignity, their sovereignty, and their freedom. That’s how terrorism will be defeated.

At this point in time and here at the headquarters of the United Nations, I want to say that the values that were reaffirmed in the aftermath of World War II are still at issue in the fight against terrorism, and that today the life of one of our compatriots is threatened. We must realize that we are facing a war that will go on for a long time. But we won’t give an inch.

Iran - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the French Republic - Conversation with Mr. Rouhani

Paris, September 23, 2014

President Hollande has met with Mr. Rouhani, the President of Iran, in New York. A year after their first meeting, they reviewed the status of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear capability.

President Hollande expressed his wish to see the negotiations conclude swiftly. He reiterated France’s position: Iran must implement concrete measures that clearly and verifiably demonstrate that it will not obtain a military nuclear capability.

The two Presidents also discussed the situation in Iraq, Syria, and the region, and exchanged views on how to combat terrorism.

They examined the prospects for bilateral cooperation, which they will institute as soon as trust is reestablished by means of a definitive agreement on the nuclear issue.

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