25 July 2012 - Security Council - Middle East - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

I would
like to thank Mr. Robert Serry, Special Coordinator
for the Middle East Peace Process, the Permanent
Representative of Israel and the Permanent Observer of
Palestine for their statements.

I would also like to extend the sincere condolences
of France to the victims of the terrorist attack in
Bulgaria. I reiterate my country’s full solidarity to the
Israeli State and people in their fight against hatred and
terrorism.

The Syrian regime has systematically violated
resolutions 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012) by intensifying
its use of heavy weaponry against its own people and by
bombing urban centres from airplanes today, for the first
time. According to non-governmental organizations,
an estimated 19,000 Syrians have been killed by the
regime, while 3 million have been endangered by
internal displacements. By United Nations estimates,
another 1 million face food insecurity. The escalation
of violence has caused tens of thousands of refugees
to flee to neighbouring countries. We commend the
assistance given to the people fleeing Syria.

The impact of all this on regional stability is of
increasing concern. In the Golan Heights, the Syrian
authorities committed a serious violation of the 1974
agreement by penetrating into the separation zone.
We will not allow Syria to dissimulate its excesses
by fomenting regional unrest. The threatened use of
chemical and biological weapons and the violations of Lebanese sovereignty and of resolutions 1559 (2004),
1680 (2006) and 1701 (2006) are equally unacceptable.
That is the message sent by the Security Council
last week, reiterating week its commitment to the
stability, sovereignty and integrity of Lebanon,
threatened by the growing number of Syrian incursions
and bombardments on the Lebanese side of the
border. We welcome the responsible attitude of the
Lebanese authorities, politicians and people, who
have demonstrated their resolve not to be dragged into
a conflict that is not theirs. We encourage them to
continue to invest in the national dialogue relaunched
by Lebanese President Sleiman.

The impotence to which the Council has been
reduced by the Russian and Chinese vetoes does not
leave it without recourse. We will maintain our support
for the Syrian people and a democratic transition. We
have adopted a new series of sanctions against Syria
in the context of the European Union. We will pursue
our work to support the opposition, including on the
ground, and to help them to coalesce around a political
project and a transitional Government for Syria. We
will also continue to build a case against the Syrian
regime to establish its criminal responsibility for the
crimes against humanity of which it is guilty. We will
continue to respond to the appeals of peoples in danger
and to pursue our resolute efforts, including within the
European Union, for increased humanitarian aid to the
Syrian people.

The threats to regional stability are not without
consequences for the peace process in the Middle East.
Our responsibility today in this difficult context is to
maintain the viability and political credibility of the
two-State solution. And yet, every day Israel’s pursuit of
its settlement policy undermines the possibility of peace
and violates international law and the resolutions of the
Security Council. Expulsions continue in Area C. The
violence of certain settlers too often goes unpunished.
The recent report of the Levy Commission adds insult
to injury by claiming legitimacy and legality for a fait
accompli. We call on Israel to reject it and to put an
immediate end to its gross violations of international
law.

For our part, we will continue to affirm that
settlement activity in all its forms is counter to
international law and impedes peace. We deplore the
inability of the Council and the Quartet to express
themselves on this issue. Today, alongside our European partners, we are considering specific ways to respond
to this policy, which has become the main threat to the
two-State solution.
The viability of that solution requires the viability
of the partners implementing it. We therefore reaffirm
our support for the weakened Palestinian Authority. The
financial crisis besetting the Authority is unprecedented.
We call once again on donors to remobilize support for
the construction of a Palestinian State courageously and
successfully launched by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
under the authority of President Abbas.

It is important in parallel to make headway on
confidence-building measures that would allow dialogue
to resume. We are encouraged by the pursuit of contacts
between the two parties, but their discussions must lead
to significant gestures on such issues as the pre-Oslo
prisoners and weapons for the Palestinian police.

We support President Abbas in his pursuit of
Palestinian reconciliation pursuant to the principles of
the peace process endorsed by the Palestine Liberation
Organization. No peace will be possible without
Palestinian unity, and in that regard we deplore the fact
that Hamas has interrupted the work of the Electoral
Commission in Gaza. If new socio-economic and
political prospects are to emerge in Gaza, Israel must
change its policy and move towards a complete lifting
of the blockade, pursuant to resolution 1860 (2009).

Moreover, Israel’s security must be taken into account,
and we firmly condemn the rockets being launched
against southern Israel from the Gaza Strip and Sinai.
Such confidence-building measures are no substitute
for a credible negotiating process. France has frequently
reaffirmed, here and in the General Assembly, the need
to identify a framework for the negotiations. Above and
beyond the required leadership, negotiations cannot be
credibly resumed without clear parameters, a realistic
timetable, and guarantees against non-respect for the
decisions of the international community. We hope that
the interested parties as a whole, including within the
Council, can contribute to the development of such a
framework. If such reflection is not begun as soon as
possible, we must fear that the two-State solution is no
more than a pious wish and that peace is beyond our
reach.

Dernière modification : 26/02/2015

top of the page