Syria: It is crucial to unite the international community
Syria - Remarks to the press by François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Friday 14 July
Let me just tell you a few words on Syria and insist on a few points before we hear Staffan de Mistura on the latest round of negotiations in Geneva. Two or three points:
First of all, the only way to get rid of terrorism, in our views, and you know that the fight against terrorism is our number one priority, the only way to do it, especially in the longer run, is through a negotiated political solution based on resolution 2254 and the Geneva communiqué. That’s really the basis.
Number two, ahead of the negotiations in Geneva, we provided full support to Staffan de Mistura; we have called the Syrian regime to engage seriously in the discussions and we have reiterated our support to the HNC – the High Negotiations Committee, led by Riyad Hijab.The efforts to get a cease fire in the South, in particular, are a positive step that needs to be concretely implemented on the ground and extended to the rest of the country, both. We also need to build on the Astana talks to set up a credible, robust and inclusive monitoring mechanism of the cease fire and you know that it has been France’s request for quite long now to have this monitoring mechanism.
Number three, you have heard President Macron yesterday and he has made clear that we favor initiating a contact group, that includes the Permanent Members of the Security Council and regional players as well, in order to promote peace and an inclusive post-conflict roadmap in support of course of the UN efforts. We think it is crucial to unite the international community and to take new initiatives fully supporting of course Staffan de Mistura’s efforts. So this what our policy is all about. I will, in a few minutes, reiterate France’s support to Staffan and his efforts.
I don’t need to come back to the two key issues that we are particularly firm on: first of all, the use of chemical weapons, which is a red line for us, as President Macron reiterated several times. But also the utmost necessity of humanitarian aid to be delivered to those in need and this also something I will reiterate in the coming consultations.
So here we are:
Full support to Staffan.
I believe there is a sense among key players that there might be a window of opportunity to push hard in a united way, to move ahead on a political solution in Syria. And France is ready, and willing, to take its part.
Q: The President suggested an action be taken here, from the Security Council, regarding what you just mentioned. There is already a contact group for Syria. What’s different? How this new proposal is going to be different from the contact group that already exists?
There are several groups that exist. As President Macron said yesterday, again, in France’s view there is the need for a contact group based in particular on the five Permanent Members of the Security Council, that need to be united, and the key regional players in particular. There is no such group for the time being. And of course, this proposal is also a way for us to push for united views among the five Permanent Members of the Security Council and the regional players, which is needed. It is a way to unite the international community and to retake the initiative on the political and diplomatic front in support to the UN efforts. That’s where we are right now. Again, we will listen to Staffan, what he has to say. And based on his assessment and also recommendations, we think it’s time to move ahead, to move forward. We think there is a window and we think we should move ahead.