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Published on November 3, 2015
Statements to the press by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Vienna, October 30, 2015

France is doing everything necessary to achieve peace. That’s the context of this meeting, the first where all the regional and international partners have been able to meet. We talked for eight hours. There are clearly points of disagreement: the main one is the future role of Bashar al-Assad. For us, things are clear: he’s the person chiefly responsible for the Syrian disaster, and therefore there’s no question of him being the future of Syria.

We examined all the points, and we made progress on a number of points, particularly the political process: the issue of the transitional government, the elections, the future constitution and other aspects too. But we didn’t reach complete agreement.

All the same, things progressed enough for us to arrange to meet in a fortnight, in the same set-up, to go further. Obviously the United Nations is going to play a significant role in this process and France is one of the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members.

For our part – and I’ll end on this – we attached great importance to the need, in order to achieve peace, for Mr Bashar al-Assad not to be part of Syria’s future, and we attached great importance to the fight against terrorism – against Daesh [ISIL], against Jabhat al-Nusra –, a fight which must be broadened. We also attached great importance to the humanitarian measures which must be taken immediately to stop the barrel bombings and ensure that the humanitarian convoys can arrive in the besieged towns and cities.

That’s what can be said this evening following eight hours of discussions./.

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