I wanted to underline the very serious preoccupation that the government of France, the President, the Minister, who expressed this morning in a communiqué together with the deputy Minister for human rights, Bernard Kouchner and Rama Yade, our very strong preoccupation vis à vis the evolution of the situation in Sri Lanka.
First of all we reaffirm very strongly our condemnation of the behaviour of the LTTE, which is considered a terrorist group by the European Union. They have to stop fighting, they have to surrender, they have to join the political process, and of course they have to free the hostages. There are still, despite the number of people who have succeeded in fleeing the zone, in the last days there still thousands of people trapped in the region. So we call on the LTTE to release those hostages and to stop the fighting.
At the same time, we want to express our preoccupation on the humanitarian situation, first of all of those populations trapped, and also of the people who have succeeded in fleeing the zone. The government of Sri Lanka, which we are ready to help, and committed to help, and we will increase our humanitarian aid to the government, the government has obligations under international humanitarian law. We expect the government to fulfil its commitments by protecting the civilians and by providing the civilians with all the assistance they need with the help of the international community.
There will be at our request - we insisted very strongly these past few days - there will be a meeting this afternoon of the Security Council which will be an informal meeting. We will hear a report by the Special Envoy of the Secretary General to the region. And we expect, at our request, the President of the Security Council to go to the press at the end of the meeting to brief you on the report of Mr Nambiar and on the reaction of the Council. I have no doubt that there will be a common expression of our very serious preoccupation and our common will for the fight to stop, for a truce, for a ceasefire, for whatever is needed for the civilians to leave the area.