Official speeches and statements - April 13, 2017
2. Syria - UN Security Council - Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Paris - April 12, 2017)
Russia has once again chosen to veto a draft Security Council resolution on Syria. This draft aimed to allow a swift, detailed investigation by the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] and the United Nations to establish responsibility for the chemical attacks in Idlib province on 4 April. France spared no effort, including vis-à-vis Russia, to bring together a consensus on the text. This is the eighth time Russia has chosen to oppose the majority of the Council in this way.
Russia carries a heavy responsibility by systematically opposing a multilateral response to the Syria issue, in order to protect its ally Assad. Only by rallying the international community behind a political transition in Syria will it be possible for that martyred country to regain peace, stability and sovereignty. France will continue to work actively towards this.
France joined the United States and the United Kingdom in presenting to the Security Council a resolution expressing the international community’s support for an investigation into the circumstances of the chemical attack of 4 April in Khan Sheikhoun and identifying its perpetrators.
Despite the unacceptable nature of this attack, Russia vetoed this resolution. That decision is incomprehensible and unjustifiable. It offers support for the deadly obstinacy of the Syrian regime and prolongs the suffering of the Syrian people.
This latest episode only strengthens France’s determination to shed full light on the barbarity of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, whose people are its first victims. France is equally determined to protect the chemical weapons prohibition regime as well as the international measures to implement it.
I call on the international community to face up to its responsibilities and take the necessary decisions to end to the Syria tragedy through a political solution. For its part, France will not give up.