France and Russia transport aid for Syrian civilians
Paris, 27 July 2018
Q. – What is the status of France’s aid shipment? Do you consider it a success? Will French-Russian cooperation have an effect on political aspects, particularly the rebuilding of Syria?
THE SPOKESPERSON – Our cooperation with Russia has helped French aid shipments to be delivered swiftly and in secure conditions. All non-perishable goods included in the humanitarian operation have been distributed to the population of Eastern Ghouta. Perishable goods, essentially medicines, are being stored in adequate conditions that will allow them to be used as needed. The operation was coordinated by the UN, which ensured that it proceeded smoothly on the ground. We offer them our gratitude for their commitment and effectiveness.
We reaffirm that the operation was conducted for the sole purpose of providing necessary emergency aid to the residents of Eastern Ghouta. It was one of many initiatives we are taking to assist the most vulnerable people in Syria, wherever they may be.
We hope to work with Russia to bring the viewpoints of countries with influence in Syria closer together, thereby creating the conditions for an inclusive, sustainable political solution. In order to succeed, it remains necessary to fully abide by the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 2401. Only a political solution to the Syrian crisis will make it possible to end the violence against civilians, re-establish a civil peace and begin rebuilding the country. Our position on this subject remains unchanged. (…)./.
Paris, 23 July 2018
Q. – Has the aid sent to Eastern Ghouta been distributed yet?
THE SPOKESPERSON – Following the 24 May coordination meeting in St Petersburg between the French and Russian Presidents, France and Russia carried out a joint humanitarian project in Syria to meet the needs of the civilian population, which remain very significant in Eastern Ghouta (Douma).
More than 50 tonnes of French humanitarian aid were shipped to Syria on board a Russian plane during the night of 20 to 21 July. The humanitarian cargo provided by France consists of medical equipment and basic necessities. On Saturday it was delivered to the UN, which will supervise its distribution. The aid will be transported to Eastern Ghouta and distributed there in accordance with international humanitarian law, as swiftly as possible.
Under UN Security Council Resolution 2401 (2018), the goal of this project is to give civilians better access to aid. Humanitarian assistance is an absolute priority; it must be provided according to the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence – throughout Syria, without exception, where international humanitarian law must be fully respected.
Q. – Apart from supporting and protecting White Helmets and their families, is France prepared to welcome these people, as Britain, Canada and Germany have already said they would?
THE SPOKESPERSON – France is an active member of the operation that allowed the White Helmets and their families to leave Syria, where their security was seriously compromised.
This operation provides for their resettlement in third countries. France will do its part to welcome White Helmets and their families.
It will continue to work on behalf of these courageous individuals who risked their lives day after day to help the Syrian people./.