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Official speeches and statements - May 13, 2019

Published on May 13, 2019

1. United Nations - Libya/Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations (New York - May 10, 2019)

We’ll have two very important emergency meetings of the Security Council on two critically important issues.

The first is about Libya.

As you know, President Macron received the day before yesterday Prime Minister Sarraj in Paris and reaffirmed France’s support to the Government of National Accord. We remain fully committed, actually more than ever, in support of Ghassan Salame’s efforts and action; and more convinced than ever that there is no military solution in Libya.

We therefore encourage the conclusion of an immediate ceasefire without conditions to put an end to the current fightings. The two parties must come back to the political process as soon as possible in line with the Abu Dabi conference - and it is, above all, urgent and necessary to protect civilians.

The second very important meeting that we are about to have is on Syria.

As President Macron said, we are extremely concerned about the violent escalation in the Idlib region. A new Aleppo must at all costs be prevented in Idlib. This is for us the number one priority, and this is the key message that, on behalf of France, I will pass on to my colleagues.

We call more broadly for the cessation of violence and the full support to the UN efforts in favor of a political solution, because we believe there is at the same time a window of opportunity for a political solution in Syria. So we are really at a critical juncture here.

On Libya, do you think it is now for the Council to send such a message, do you expect any outcome or statement?

We’ll see how the consultations will turn. As far as France is concerned, we have been supportive from day one to the British-led efforts for a text. As a matter of policy, we believe that given the critical situation on the ground, an expression of the Security Council would be both positive and timely.

On Idlib, there are credible reports that bombing of medical facilities have been carried out by Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, and supposedly one of the guarantors of the de-escalation zone. Your reaction.

My reaction will be very clear during the consultations that we are about to have, and my public reaction is to repeat loud and clear that a new Aleppo must be prevented at all costs in Idlib. And you heard me during the last sessions of the security council, I rang the bell, so to speak, on this question, because I think the situation is extremely concerning and we need to send a very clear message to all those who might be tempted by an escalation in Idlib. If it happens, it would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe there, it would only contribute to the dissemination of terrorist forces and it would destroy the prospect of a political process that we all want to give a boost to. So on both accounts, it would be a pure catastrophe.