To go beyond the 5 hour-humanitarian pause a day
Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 28 February 2018
Just a few words about the very important meeting that we are about to have. Let me be clear about it: today is not about talks, it is about ensuring the full implementation on the ground of the resolution 2401 that the Council unanimously adopted on Saturday.
In this respect, we have three key priorities:
1/ The number one priority is to have the Syrian regime implementing the resolution of the Security Council on the ground. We all know it is not the case as we speak. We have called all the supporters of the regime to put maximum pressure on Damascus so that it states publicly that it intends to abide by its obligations - and actually does it on the ground.
2/ The second priority is to go beyond the 5 hour-humanitarian pause a day proposed by the Russians, which is a first step but is not enough to allow the necessary humanitarian aid to those in need. And here again let me be clear about it: there is an urgent need to open the Wafidine check point and other check points to give access to UN convoys. This depends again on the Syrian regime authorization.
3/ The last but not least priority is to create a monitoring mechanism to make sure that resolution 2401 is effectively implemented by all parties. People are bombed while we are speaking. There is no time to waste.
Let me add that the president of the SNC Nasser al-Hariri as well as the main armed groups in Eastern Ghouta have committed to abide by Resolution 2401 and to implement the ceasefire as provided by the resolution. On the contrary the Syrian regime didn´t say a word about it and, moreover, is continuing its siege and large-scale military operations with dramatic consequences on the civilian population of Eastern Ghouta - this in complete violation of resolution 2401. So now it´s up to the regime to do its part and to do it urgently.
Q: Comment voulez-vous faire pression sur le régime syrien justement ? How could you put pressure on the Syrian regime ?
La manière la plus efficace d’établir la pression maximale qui est nécessaire aujourd’hui sur le régime syrien, c´est à travers tous ceux qui ont une influence importance sur lui, à commencer par les pays membres du groupe d’Astana, et en leur sein, la Russie.
In this respect, French foreign Minister Le Drian went to Moscow yesterday do have in-depth meetings with his Russian counterpart, Sergueï Lavrov, in order to work hard with him and ask the Russians, beyond the pause that they decided to establish after the resolution, to exert maximum pressure on the Syrian regime in order to have the resolution fully implemented on the ground. The Russians clearly are a key part of the equation, therefore Minister Le Drian´s visit to Moscow yesterday. As we speak, we are working very hard to exert maximum pressure on the regime and at the same time we work on a monitoring mechanism in order to allow us to check and verify (...).
Q: Did Lavrov explain to your Minister why they think they need to put a five-hour daily pause when they are supposed to put a 24-hour pause? I mean it´s redundant. Did they explain to them the logic behind that?
Of course, there was a discussion about it. Our position is very clear: this is the first step but this is not enough (...).