France reiterates call for political solution in Syria

Russia – Syria/Ukraine – Telephone conversation between M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr Vladimir Putin, President of Russia – Press communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 16 February 2019

The French President had a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart about Syria and Ukraine.

In Syria, the situation is still very bad, with significant risks for regional and international security. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the discussions under way with Iran and Turkey. The French President set out the following priorities for France in Syria:

- Continuing to the end the fight against Daesh [so-called ISIL] being led by the international coalition and its allies on the ground, and combating terrorist groups listed by the United Nations Security Council;

- Protecting civilians, and full, safe and unfettered access for humanitarian aid to civilians;

- Seeking a negotiated political solution under the authority of the United Nations, which alone is capable of enabling a lasting victory against Daesh, as well as stability and the return of refugees to their country. In this regard, he stressed the efforts necessary to enable constitutional reform and the holding of free and credible elections, under United Nations supervision.

The French-Russian coordination mechanism on Syria should make it possible to move forward in this direction, with all the players concerned./.

European Union – Venezuela/Syria – Statement by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and European Affairs, on his arrival at the Foreign Affairs Council (excerpts)

Brussels, 18 February 2019


I’d also like to say a few words about the situation in Syria, because the last territorial strongholds of Daesh [so-called ISIL] are falling – which doesn’t mean Daesh’s activity has come to an end. On the contrary, there are now risks of it going underground. All the same, territorial peace is being won – which doesn’t mean peace is being won overall. On the contrary, it now has to be rebuilt, and to rebuild peace it’s important for there to be a political process. And this is linked to the implementation of the United Nations resolution. Outside this, there will be no lasting peace in Syria, no peace will be rebuilt without the political process Mr Pedersen is tasked with implementing. This, at any rate, is the position France will support. Thank you./.

Syria – Withdrawal of American troops – Reply by Mme Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister of State attached to the Minister for the Armed Forces, to a question in the Senate

Paris, 14 February 2019

We’re on the eve of a decisive stage in the Levant.

The international community’s military commitment in the region is aimed at destroying Daesh [so-called ISIL] and enabling Iraqi forces to contain its resurgence. By training Iraqi forces and supporting the Syrian Kurds and their partners, Operation Chammal is enabling us to complete the recapture of Daesh’s last stronghold. However, I say today that the terrorists are clinging onto the few enclaves they have left, where they’re hiding among civilians.

Our American allies have announced their withdrawal. However, following discussions, they’ve made this withdrawal conditional on the defeat of the territorial caliphate. It’s also essential that this disengagement from Syria shouldn’t be precipitate, for two reasons: on the one hand we’re entering a difficult ground verification phase, and on the other the humanitarian situation is deteriorating and worries us.

So we’re continuing our discussions with the Americans, within the coalition, to give the Syrian Kurds safeguards, block Iranian ambitions and prevent foreign fighters dispersing.

Of course, we’ll continue lending our support to efforts to support the region’s stability. We can’t abandon the Arab and Kurdish forces, who have fought bravely. A negotiated solution will be necessary; it will have to protect their security, but also address Turkey’s legitimate security concerns.

In this context, which you’ll agree is very complex, we obviously remain committed to ensuring that a comprehensive political solution can be provided to the Syria crisis, and we’ll continue discussions with our partners./.

Published on 09/01/2020

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