Mr. Kofi Annan, Joint UN and Arab League Special Envoy, will appear before the Security Council tomorrow in order to inform it of the findings of his mission to Syria and the region, and notably the response by the Syrian authorities to his proposal.
We fully support his action and await his initial conclusions and recommendations. We intend to remain fully mobilized in light of the success of his mission.
In line with the various initiatives that we’ve been launching for months now, we’re determined to continue our action to bring an immediate end to the violence, secure unhindered humanitarian access and launch a political process that would finally make it possible to find a credible, lasting and peaceful solution to the crisis.
Yesterday, Mr. Alain Juppé sent a message of support for the initiative proposed by the Mayor of Paris to organize a rally in front of City Hall in order to mark the first anniversary of the uprising of the Syrian people.
Please find below the Ministre d’Etat’s message to the Syrian people:
A year ago to the day, Syrian citizens gathered at the Harika souk in Damascus in order to demand freedom and democracy. The regime responded immediately with violence and with the crackdown.
Dera’a, Hama, Homs, Douma, Zabadani, Idlib: these names, and those of many other affected cities and villages, have now become symbols of the suffering of the Syrian people.
The Syrian people are proving to the world, with admirable courage and determination, that the aspirations for dignity and freedom are stronger than oppression.
And yet, a year later, this legitimate fight is far from over. Every day, dozens of men, women and children are murdered. The leaders of the regime must be held accountable for this crime against humanity.
This appalling violence is a sign of weakness. Bashar al-Assad’s regime has lost all legitimacy. He’s trying to ignite inter-faith conflicts, and provoke a spiral of violence and an upsurge in extremist movements, from which he hopes to profit in order to maintain his hold on power. He represents a threat to everyone and to peace in the region.
France is mobilized, at the forefront of the nations that are friends with the Syrian people. It has helped to weaken the regime by supporting the implementation of sanctions by the EU. It actively contributed to the creation of the Friends of the Syrian People group founded in Tunis on February 24.
It advocated on behalf of the Syrian people in all international forums, whether at the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council or the Security Council, where, thus far, we’ve been held back by the Russian and Chinese vetoes. It was the first country to lend support to the Syrian National Council, which is working to bring together around it all the sensibilities that form the rich landscape of Syrian society. I welcome the presence this evening of several of its key leaders.
The French people, who know the price of freedom, stand alongside the Syrian people on this first anniversary of the revolution in Syria. They support them and admire them. They identify with their cause. And they are certain that freedom will prevail.
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