Iraq: we encourage parties to enter into dialogue
Iraq/ Syria/Sahara - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 22 November 2017
Q : Ambassador, I want to ask you about the issue of the tensions between the Kurdistan regional government and the Iraqi government, what France hopes by the end of this meeting? Do you hope for a statement to encourage this dialogue that’s ongoing right now? And France is part of that initiative to start now.
We will see what will come out of this important meeting depending on the way the discussions go and on what Jan Kubis will tell us.
As you know tensions in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan remain a major concern. We encourage parties to immediately enter into dialogue, in the framework of the Iraqi constitution and respecting the legitimate rights of the Kurds.
Now that Daesh is almost completely defeated, it is important to continue to work on inclusive governance. This is the only way to preserve stability in the longer run, also increasing efforts towards national reconciliation, stabilization and reconstruction. And to overcome these challenges, we fully support UN efforts and more specifically the work of the Special Representative.
Q: Ambassador, on Syria, I am not going to ask about the JIM. What do you make of these meetings that President Putin has had with President Assad in Sochi? How do you think this is going prepare for the Syria talks in Geneva?
The French position on this is crystal clear. The UN is and must remain front and center in the process. When we say that, it is not a religious position of ours, it’s a position based on efficiency. If we want to succeed in Syria, we can only succeed together and that is why it has to be based on a UN-led process. So for us, the key is Geneva. That’s why we are working so hard based on our initiative of a contact group, making sure that the key powers and the key regional powers both do agree on a position, do agree on a roadmap and can on this basis give a boost to the political process. So again, Geneva first - it doesn’t mean that other efforts cannot be important of course, provided they are in line with the UN position and clearly help the efforts of the UN. This our compass, based on what we believe should be the role of the UN of course, but also based on efficiency.
On Western Sahara we are about to have important consultations. This is the first time Mr. Köhler, as the Personal Envoy, will brief the Security Council. We think it’s important. We think his recent trip to the region is part of the new momentum that is taking place on this issue and that we very much welcome.