President Hollande: "Take every initiative so we can relaunch the political transition process in Syria"
Joint communiqué issued by Mr. François Hollande, President of the Republic, and Mrs Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Paris - April 7, 2017
The President and the German Chancellor spoke on the telephone this morning about the situation in Syria.
In the wake of the chemical massacre perpetrated in Khan Sheikhoun, north-east Syria, on 4 April, a military installation of the Syrian regime used for chemical bombing was destroyed overnight by American strikes. We were informed of this beforehand.
Assad is wholly responsible for this development. Indeed, his continued recourse to chemical weapons and mass crimes cannot remain unpunished. This is what France demanded in the summer of 2013 the day after the Ghouta chemical attack.
France and Germany will therefore continue their efforts with their partners in the United Nations framework to punish in the most appropriate way criminal acts linked to the use of chemical weapons banned by all the treaties.
We call on the international community to come together to support a political transition in Syria, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué.
Statement to the press by Mr. François Hollande, President of the Republic
Annonay - April 7, 2017
Bashar al-Assad’s regime has used chemical weapons. It’s not the first time: in August 2013 he had already gassed his people. I then called for there to be a response and for an operation to be conducted with the United States.
Chemical weapons have now been used again. After informing us, the Americans decided to strike a number of installations in Syria. I believe this operation was a response. It must now be continued at international level in the United Nations framework, if that is possible, so that we can carry through the sanctions against Bashar al-Assad and prevent chemical weapons being used again and the regime crushing its own people again.
Because of this tragedy, because of this situation, there’s a possibility today of opening negotiations and enabling a political transition in Syria. This is why, with its partners—particularly its European ones, and I’ve spoken to Chancellor Merkel—, France is going to take every initiative so we can relaunch the political transition process in Syria.
I’ll be convening a meeting of the Defence Council this evening at 7.00 p.m. to see how France can build on this initiative.