Sahel/release of Serge Lazarevic
Q. – Another subject in the news: Serge Lazarevic’s release occurred during your trip. What’s your reaction?
THE MINISTER – One of immense joy, as I said earlier. He was the last French hostage abroad. We’ve already secured the release of many. It’s a very, very big task. Obviously, we’re seeing the result of this here and it’s a matter of tremendous satisfaction for him, his family and all of us. During his three years of captivity, the services – be it the defence people or my own services at the Quai d’Orsay – worked daily, liaising with other countries: Mali and Niger. All this is reflected today, so it’s a matter of very great satisfaction, and that’s still putting it mildly.
Q. – It’s a diplomatic effort, but questions are still being asked about the quid pro quo in this kind of release.
THE MINISTER – As you know, I’ve always taken the same stance. When we took office, I believe there were 15 French hostages abroad. We’ve got many of them out. There are no more now. This demands a great deal of work, with one rule: discretion. I’ve always observed that rule. It’s the key to effectiveness./.