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9 septembre 2008 - Géorgie : Stake out de l’ambassadeur Jean-Maurice Ripert

Consultations du Conseil de sécurité

Je voudrais dire quelques mots à propos de ce qui va se passer ce matin au Conseil .

Sous points divers, nous allons évoquer rapidement l’accord qui est intervenu hier à Moscou à propos de la Géorgie ainsi que l’étape à Tbilissi du président de la République qui était accompagné, je le rappelle, de M. Barroso et de M. Solana.

La France et l’Union européenne se réjouissent de l’accord intervenu hier soir, qui contient notamment un calendrier détaillé et des modalités précises -et c’est cela qui est important à nos yeux- concernant le retrait des forces russes de Géorgie sur leurs positions d’avant le début des hostilités.

Nous nous réjouissons également que soient prévues et confirmées, explicitées, les dispositions de l’accord s’agissant de la présence de mécanismes internationaux. Il nous paraît extrêmement important que la MONUG ait été confirmée et qu’elle continue à exercer ses responsabilités dans sa zone de responsabilité d’avant le conflit, de la même façon que l’OSCE puisse continuer à exercer ses responsabilités dans sa zone de responsabilité d’avant le conflit.

Vous savez par ailleurs, qu’un accord est intervenu pour un nouveau mécanisme de déploiement d’observateurs supplémentaires, dont au moins 200 observateurs envoyés par l’Union européenne, qui se déploieront en Géorgie. Le mandat exact de ces observateurs européens sera fixé le 15 septembre prochain par le Conseil des ministres de l’Union européenne.

Enfin, il faut relever qu’un accord est intervenu sur le lancement de discussions internationales à Genève le 15 octobre s’agissant de la sécurité et de la stabilité dans la région.

Je voudrais aussi mentionner que lors de son étape à Tbilissi, le Président de la République au nom de la France et de l’Union européenne a réaffirmé notre condamnation de la reconnaissance par la Russie de la proclamation unilatérale d’indépendance par les deux entités abkhaze et sud-ossète, et qu’il a insisté sur la nécessité de préserver la souveraineté et l’intégrité territoriale de la Géorgie.

Il a enfin réaffirmé la détermination de l’Union européenne à rester aux côtés de la Géorgie dans ses efforts de reconstruction.

France and the European union are very satisfied by the agreement that was reached yesterday in Moscow, which contains a detailed agenda and detailed modalities for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia on the position of before the hostilities.

We are also satisfied that the international mechanisms which have been agreed on UNOMIG remain under the mandate prior to the hostilities in Abkhazia and OSCE remains mandated in its responsibilities prior to the hostility regarding South Ossetia. And you know there will be also the deployment of at least 200 new observers from the European Union in Georgia. The mandate of those forces will be decided by the ministers of the European Union on September 15th.

We are also very satisfied with the launching of international talks on security and stability in the region, that will be launched in Geneva. During his visit in Tbilissi, the President, on behalf of France and the EU, also had an occasion to recall our strong condemnation of the recognition by Russia of the self proclaimed independence by the two entities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We reconfirm the fact that sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia should be preserved at any cost. And we reaffirm our commitment to help Georgia to reconstruct after the hostilities.

Monsieur l’Ambassadeur, vous avez parlé d’un calendrier détaillé et de modalités précises. Est-ce qu’il n’y avait pas déjà eu auparavant, ce genre de calendrier détaillé et de modalités précises ?

Disons qu’il y a eu le besoin ressenti à la fois par les Russes - et l’Union européenne a accepté d’en rediscuter- de préciser exactement les termes de l’accord du 12 août qui en effet était très précis. Maintenant, nous avons des dates. Vous le savez : avant la fin de la semaine pour le retrait des troupes russes, avant la fin du mois pour le déploiement des observateurs notamment européens en Géorgie.

Je vous fais surtout observer- c’est cela qui est important- le maintien du mandat actuel de la MONUG et de l’OSCE en Abkhazie d’une part, en Ossétie du Sud d’autre part. Donc là les modalités sont très précises, les Russes ont réaffirmé leur engagement, et je pense que tout à l’heure devant le Conseil, l’ambassadeur de Russie confirmera cet engagement.

Did Mr Sarkozy in Moscow also raise this issue of Russia revoking its recognition of theses two areas. Do you think that in so doing, there is any chance of Russia taking that bet ?

I don’t know. The only thing I can repeat is the fact that we, as France and as the European Union, strongly condemn this recognition. We think it doesn’t help to solve the crisis in the region

UNOMIG, the UN mission in Abkhazia, with it running out on October 15, do you think that the council can reach a new configuration of it by October 15 ?

We have to take into account the fact that there was an agreement yesterday on renewing the mandate of MONUG within its own responsibilities, which means including within Abkhazia, so I would guess that we could be a little bit more optimistic about the renewal of the mandate which expires on the 15 of October.

About the symposium of victims of terrorism organised today by the UNSG, is the position of Ingrid Betancourt, particularly concerning the need to talk with terrorists, also shared by France ?

First of all let me say that it was very important. It is the first time in my memory that the United nations are playing this role. And t is very impressive and very moving to see all those victims and to listen to them. They are coming from all over the world : so they are reaffirming unfortunately the universality of terrorism and the universality of the victims of terrorism.

As for the way of tackling terrorism, each and every government has to keep its commitment regarding the fight against terrorism. We have supported the global strategy against terrorism, that was adopted in the UN in 2006. We will fully implement it and the European union is fully committed to that fight. And at the same time it is true that when a government is confronted with some difficulties with its own nationals, it is very important for him to balance very carefully, what has to be done in terms of use of force and what has to be done in terms of negotiation.

The words of Ingrid Betancourt belongs to Ingrid Betancourt. We have much respect for her. You know how much President Sarkozy fighted for her liberation together with the heads of states of Latin America. We have to listen to her but at the final moment, every government is responsible of the decision to be made.

She said at the end of her speech, that Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, that she is in an hunger strike and that we must act. Do you agree with that ? Do you think that the UN has done enough in that regard ? You know very well the position of France regarding Burma. Certainly, we will have some occasion to repeat it, in front of the Council during the next days. A debate is now scheduled to listen to the report of Mr Gambari. We think that the Security Council has not been listened to by the authorities of Burma/ Myanmar and we think that they have to abide by their commitments.

We want to recall what we have asked for : the liberation of Aung San Suu Kyi of course and of all political prisoners. The elections will not make sense if there are not free, if there is no due process of law.

We do not recognize, as the opposition did, the result of this fake constitutional referendum : it was held in the midst of a terrible hurricane, with devastating effects on civilian population. We have seen the lack of care of the authorities of Burma vis-à-vis their own population.

At the same time, certainly the UN has to continue to push for a dialogue with the authorities. We are supportive of the efforts of the UNSG, of Mr Gambari, of the group of friends. And we hope that all countries in the region which have some leverage on the Burmese authorities will use it to get as soon as possible, the freedom and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. She is in danger. She is in danger and she has been recognised as a figure of peace for the world as Nobel peace price. We have to fight for her freedom.

Gambari did not meet with her in his last visit. Some said that she boycotted the meeting to send a message. Does France has any idea of why ?

You should ask that question to Mr Gambari. What is unfortunate is the fact that at this last mission, Mr Gambari was not able to meet either with Aung San Suu Kyi or the General Than Shwe.

So we think there is there a signal by the Burmese authorities. There is still rebuking the request by the international community, and that should change, that is very clear.

Will France make any counter-proposal, as a PRST ?

Yes we intend to follow the issue and to put it at the higher level. We think that now we have to raise the stakes of the Security Council and that it should be very clear for the Burmese authorities that they have to be accountable to the Security Council.

So one way or another we will do something. I will tell you. I will keep you inform on that.

On Georgia, is there any role of the SC to play now ?

I think that first of all we should keep informed our colleagues of the Security Council.

We have to renew the mandate of UNOMIG of course and this will happen as soon as possible. And then we will see.

You know that there is a special envoy of the UNSG. He has offered his good offices for any kind of international talks, he has offered the help of the UN, for the reconstruction. France and the EU are also pushing for a fact-finding mission on the humanitarian and human rights situation in the region : in Georgia and in the entities. Thank you very much./.



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