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31 May 2010 - Gaza Flotilla - Declarations by the French Authorities

The Security Council held an emergency meeting on 31 May, under the agenda item "The situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian question", to discuss the Israeli military operation against the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza on 31 May. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu participated in the formal meeting, as well as Palestine and Israel. The Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement in the night of 31 May to 1 June 2010.

Communiqué of the Presidency of the Republic, 31 May 2010

The President of the Republic expresses his deep shock at the tragic consequences of the Israeli military operation against the "freedom flotilla" into Gaza.

He condemns the disproportionate use of force and extends his condolences to the families of victims.

All light must be shed on the circumstances of this tragedy, which emphasizes the urgent need to revitalize the peace process.

Statement by Bernard Kouchner, 31 May 2010

"I am deeply shocked by the tragic consequences of the Israeli military operation against the "Peace Flotilla" destined to Gaza. We cannot understand the - still preliminary - human toll on a humanitarian operation that has been known about for several days. Nothing can justify the use of such violence which we condemn.

In these tragic circumstances, I extend my condolences to the families and relatives of the victims, who have been so sorely afflicted.

All light must be shed on the circumstances of this tragedy and we want a thorough investigation to be implemented without delay.

We are fully mobilized alongside French nationals who participated in this operation.

These events remind us that the current situation in Gaza is not sustainable and requires an urgent political response. We will take all necessary steps to prevent this tragedy from leading to further escalation of violence. "

Press statement by Pierre Lellouche, Secretary of State for European Affairs, 31 May 2010

"The Secretary of State for European Affairs condemns the disproportionate Israeli military operation against the humanitarian flotilla heading for Gaza, and deplores the loss of human lives.

This tragic incident can only heighten tensions in the region, contribute to further isolate Israel and strengthen the most radical currents. This is bad news for supporters of peace in the Middle East, including the Europeans who, more than ever, must mobilize themselves in support of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

All light must be shed on this operation, including in the form of an investigation that should be thorough, independent and consistent with international standards."

31 May 2010 - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

See also our file on "Israel / Palestinian territories"

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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