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Syria - Response by Mr. Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs to a question at the National Assembly

(Unofficial translation)

Mr. Deputy, President of the Franco-Syrian Friendship Group, the crackdown being perpetrated by the Syrian regime against its civilian population elicits outrage and calls for condemnation. France swiftly expressed its unequivocal and firm condemnation.

The situation is gradually deteriorating with, in recent days, extremely violent clashes in Jisr al-Shughour. A large number of Syrian refugees are now crossing the Turkish border and incidents have taken place at the border between Syria and Israel; similarly, fighting has taken place in the Palestinian camps in Syria.

What can we do? France can only - and wants only to - act within the framework of international law. We’ve already done so at the European Union level by adopting sanctions, including against the Syrian president.

At the Security Council - despite all the efforts that we’re making, in particular with the British and the Americans - we still haven’t achieved our goal. Indeed, China and Russia are threatening - on the grounds of principle - to exercise their right of veto. We will take the risk of putting a draft resolution condemning the Syrian regime to a vote if we reach a sufficient majority. Currently, we probably have 9 votes at the Security Council. We still need to persuade South Africa, India and Brazil; we’re working on this every day. I think that if we were able to achieve 11 votes, we would put this draft resolution to a vote and everyone would have to assume their responsibilities; we’d then see if China and Russia would go so far as to veto the resolution.

In any event, I reaffirm that we’re working on this issue with the utmost determination, in close collaboration with our British and European partners.

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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