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10 November 2010 - Situation in Iraq- Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(In French and in English)

Comme vous le savez, l’attaque contre l’église de Notre-Dame du Salut a particulièrement ému la population française et le gouvernement français. Soyons clairs, toute victime d’un attentat terroriste mérite évidemment notre attention et toute attaque terroriste mérite condamnation. Dans le cas des chrétiens d’Irak, ce dont il s’agit, c’est d’une volonté délibérée du fondamentalisme d’essayer de détruire la communauté chrétienne d’Irak. Défendre les chrétiens d’Irak ce n’est pas seulement une exigence morale, c’est aussi une nécessité politique, parce qu’attaquer les chrétiens d’Irak c’est attaquer la diversité, le pluralisme de la société iraquienne. Il s’agit donc le combat du fondamentalisme contre la démocratie. Les chrétiens d’Irak sont en première ligne dans ce combat et la France a souhaité que le Conseil de sécurité réagisse.

As you know, the horrendous attack against the church of Our Lady of Salvation has created a lot of emotion in the French government, but also in the French public opinion. Let us be clear: any victim of terror deserves our attention, and any terrorist attack deserves utter condemnation. What is at stake with the attack against the Iraqi Christians is the deliberate will to destroy the Christian community there. Defending the Christians of Iraq is not only a moral and ethical choice, it is also a political necessity because when terrorists, Al-Qaida, are plotting to destroy the Christian community in Iraq, it is simply trying to attack the diversity and pluralism of the Iraqi society, which means the Iraqi democracy. The Christians in Iraq are on the front line of the fight for democracy and France wanted the Security Council to express its solidarity with the Iraqi Christians, which means with all the Iraqis and with the Iraqi democracy.

Q: On a related matter, what is France’s view of the request by the government of Iraq for the extension of immunity to the Development Fund for of Iraq …?

We are going to discuss that now. I think we will be able to answer this question later on

Q: [Christians in Egypt, Western Sahara]

On the first question, we were focusing on Iraq. We were raising the issue of the Al Qaeda fight against the Iraqi Christians. On Western Sahara, there is a briefing which is due on the 23rd of November. There were some discussions that since we have had the talks between the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the other side in Greentree, this briefing could take place earlier… but it is up to the presidency of the Security Council to see with Mr. Christopher Ross if the agenda allows it. It is a question of agenda. And as you know next week is a pretty busy week, there is one day off and there is also the debate about Sudan, and the retreat of the Security Council. It is an agenda problem, it is not a political issue.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU