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Official speeches and statements - April 4, 2017

Published on April 4, 2017

1. Russia - Explosion in the Saint Petersburg metro - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - April 3, 2017)

President Hollande expresses his solidarity with the Russian people following the explosion in the Saint Petersburg metro. We do not yet have the final toll, but it left some 10 people dead and many injured.

The exact circumstances of this tragedy will be established in the course of the investigation that has just been opened into this act of terrorism. This tragic event reminds us of the need for vigilance at all times.

France stands ready to respond to any request for assistance by the Russian Federation.

President Hollande, who will speak to President Putin very soon, offers his sincere condolences to the victims’ families and close friends.

2. Russia - Explosion in Saint Petersburg - Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Paris - April 4, 2017)

As Saint Petersburg has been hit hard by a deadly explosion, I would like to express France’s solidarity with Russia and all our support and condolences to the families of the victims.

At this point, we have no information to suggestion that French citizens are among the victims.

We are in contact with the Russian authorities and verifications are ongoing.

The services of the Ministry are mobilized to notify the French families who are worried about their loved ones.

3. Syria - Chemical attack - Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Paris - April 4, 2017)

Another particularly serious chemical attack targeted the province of Idlib this morning. Initial reports indicate that there is a very large number of casualties, including children.

I strongly condemn this appalling act.

The use of chemical weapons constitutes an unacceptable violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and further evidence of the barbarity suffered by the Syrian people for so many years.

France has, since the start of the conflict, worked ceaselessly to ensure that the international community sheds full light on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, identifies the perpetrators and draws the necessary conclusions in order to put an end to it. It has consistently lent its support to the investigation and attribution mechanisms of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations. Just recently, it took the initiative of tabling a resolution on sanctioning the perpetrators of these attacks, which was vetoed.

In the face of such serious crimes, which undermine international security, I call on everyone to shoulder their responsibilities.

With this in mind, I have requested that an emergency UN Security Council meeting be convened.