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Official speeches and statements - August 11, 2016

Published on August 15, 2016

1. Syria - Situation in Aleppo - Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Paris - August 11, 2016)

France is concerned by information pointing to another chemical attack in the city of Aleppo on 10 August that allegedly killed four and left dozens injured. I strongly condemn all attacks on civilians, and all the more so when chemical weapons are used.

In the past, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed chlorine gas attacks on the Syrian population - a gross violation of international law - from helicopters, which only regime forces have.

I will be paying very close attention to the conclusions of the UN and OPCW investigations that will be released at the end of August on proven cases of chemical weapons attacks in 2014 and 2015.

The tragedy that the Syrian people have been experiencing for more than five years and the despicable attacks against them are the result of the cynical attitude of the regime and its supporters, which are keeping Syria from achieving any political solution. With nearly 300,000 dead, their ordeals have continued for far too long.

France calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the only thing that can facilitate the prompt resumption of negotiations undertaken in a genuine spirit of responsibility.

2. Saudi Arabia - Conversation between M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and his Saudi counterpart - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Deputy Spokesperson (Paris - August 10, 2016)

M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, spoke on the telephone to his Saudi counterpart, Mr Adel al-Jubeir, on 10 August 2016. The two ministers exchanged views about the situations in Yemen and Syria and the Middle East peace initiative.

M. Jean-Marc Ayrault emphasized the importance of swiftly achieving a ceasefire enabling progress towards a political solution to the conflict in Yemen.

He also recalled the need for a cessation of hostilities in Syria, as a condition for the resumption of dialogue.

He reiterated France’s determination to create the conditions for a resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.