France calls for an immediate humanitarian truce in Aleppo

Syria: Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the UN - 25 July 2016

The briefing that we are about to have on the situation in Syria and Aleppo is very important. This is one the most serious and troubling questions at the table of the Security Council.

Just one or two things on this issue.

- Aleppo is to Syria what Sarajevo was to Bosnia. This city epitomizes the Syrian tragedy more than any other. Aleppo, this symbolic city that dates back several millennia, this world heritage site, this crossroads where so many civilizations collided and converged, is now experiencing a medieval-type siege. What a symbol and what a shame!

- Today, the Syrian regime and its allies are sending a clear message to the world, that we must hear loud and clear: they are determined to besiege, starve and bomb Aleppo until they reach their military goal, eradicating the opposition. This is what the siege is all about. It is clear that the cessation of hostilities was nothing else, in the minds of the regime in Damascus, than a smokescreen to pursue this goal.

- Yesterday, we have witnessed once again the cynical, unacceptable and targeted bombing of medical infrastructures in opposition-held areas. This deliberate targeting of hospitals and medical facilities by the Syrian regime and its allies is revolting. In a sense it is a shame in a shame.

- We cannot turn a blind eye to this. And besides, the human tragedy, what is at stake here is the future of Syria but also the credibility of the UN. That is why France calls for an immediate humanitarian truce in Aleppo and the Ghouta. 20 years after the siege of Sarajevo, the Security Council can simply not accept such war crimes to repeat again. We also reiterate our call for a full and unimpeded humanitarian access and for the resumption of the political process to achieve a political transition as soon as possible.

Q: What do you expect of the Russia/UN meeting tomorrow? Will they touch on the humanitarian truce?

A: Of course I hope they will touch on this. This is the number 1, number 2 and number 3 priority: to stop the tragedy in Aleppo.

Q: Could the Security Council take a further action?

A: We hope so.

Q: in the form of?

A: If we believe in the role of the Security Council, we cannot remain silent in front of such blatant violations of everything we stand for.

Q: Are you planning something with the British? Ambassador Rycroft also says it is time for action.

A: Sure, we are on the same page on this.

Q: Are you discussing a joint project?

A: We are discussing options, yes of course.

Q: On Burundi, what is the status of your resolution?

A: working on it, trying to build consensus or as closed as a consensus. We don’t give up.

Q: Have you discussed with the Nkurunziza government?

A: Of course we are in contact with the Nkurunziza government and the authorities in Burundi.

Q: On next SG, were you surprised by Thursday result, that there was such a clear consensus already?

A: It is a bit too early to say. We will have a second straw poll soon and we will see then.

Dernière modification : 25/07/2016

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