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Jean-Yves Le Drian : "Syria situation 'matter of utmost urgency' "

Jean-Yves Le Drian : "Syria situation 'matter of utmost urgency' "

Published on February 21, 2018
The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs replies to a question for the government in the National Assembly on February 20, 2018.

It’s true that the situation in Syria is significantly deteriorating. Also true, in my view, is that the worst is yet to come, and if things don’t change we’re heading towards a humanitarian disaster. This is because the political process is at a standstill. It’s also because behind the battle against Daesh [so-called ISIL], which is our priority, behind the ever-present battle against al-Qaeda, civil war is continuing. It’s continuing in Eastern Ghouta, which you mentioned; it’s continuing in the Idlib region, with the regime bombing that territory of three million inhabitants; and it’s also worsened because of a now regional dimension: the Turkish incursion into the Afrin district and Iran’s incursion into Israeli airspace. All the elements are in place for the situation to get worse.

France believes it’s essential for the Security Council to enable a humanitarian truce, as of now, which prevents the most serious risks. This is what’s currently going on at the Security Council. And France also believes that, following the failure of the Russian initiative in Sotchi, a serious resumption of the Geneva negotiations is necessary. For this reason, it has made proposals for a constitution, elections, impartiality throughout the political transition and the inclusion of minorities. These proposals were picked up by some of our partners and will have to be discussed with all the region’s actors.

It’s why, at the President’s request, I’m going to Moscow and Tehran in the next few days.

This is a matter of the utmost urgency

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