Statement by the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
The Ministre d’Etat met today at the Quai d’Orsay with the main international organizations and French NGOs operating in Syria in the fields of humanitarian assistance and human rights, in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Syria, Mr. Eric Chevallier. Mr. Alain Juppé reaffirmed France’s ongoing efforts over the last 10 months to condemn the atrocities committed by the regime and underlined the efforts undertaken with our European partners, at the UN, and in support of the Arab League, to put an end to them.
He mentioned the initiatives under way to resolve the crisis. These involve:
— encouraging the efforts of the Syrian opposition on the path toward unity and a system in which all components of Syrian society are fully represented;
— increasing pressure on the Syrian regime to persuade it to accept the Arab League’s political solution, through strengthened sanctions;
— continuing to support the commitment of the Arab League, whose action and firm conclusions adopted on February 12 should be commended;
— actively participating in the Friends of Syria group, the first meeting of which will take place on February 24 in Tunis, in order to strengthen international consensus and to convince those countries that are still reticent;
— taking action within the various UN organs;
— and lastly, responding to the humanitarian emergency.
The representatives of the international organizations and the NGOs confirmed the appalling situation that is prevailing in Syria. They described the difficulties in gaining access, and the various efforts undertaken in order to help the Syrian people.
Mr. Alain Juppé paid tribute to their commitment and to their courage. He stressed France’s mobilization in all of the international forums aimed at ensuring that the right to access the populations is recognized. He announced his decision, at the national level, to establish an emergency relief fund for Syria, with an initial sum of €1 million, to fund the actions of all organizations and associations wishing to help the Syrian people. France will propose to the participants of the meeting in Tunis the creation of a similar type of fund at the international level.
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