Humanitarian aid in Syria must resume, says Minister
Syria – Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, on his arrival at the meeting on Syria (excerpts)
Berlin, 4 May 2016
What’s happening in Aleppo is a tragedy that requires even greater efforts. I commend Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s initiative of organizing a European-level meeting here. A terrible tragedy is occurring over there, with victims, and the Damascus regime bears full responsibility for what’s happening with the undermining of the ceasefire, the destruction of hospitals, the slaughter of women, children, civilians and doctors. And we must utterly condemn what’s happening, which is endangering the peace process.
That’s why we’re going to talk about it to the UN negotiator, Staffan de Mistura, and also meet Mr Hijab, the leader of the moderate opposition. Everything must be done to get the ceasefire back on track; all initiatives are necessary – this one, but also others, such as the Franco-British initiative for a Security Council meeting today.
The Security Council is up against its responsibilities. It’s adopted a resolution, and this resolution must be respected. I myself took the initiative of inviting to Paris, next Monday, the 10 so-called like-minded countries, i.e. those which support the moderate opposition, including many Arab countries.
And we’re also calling for an urgent meeting of the group supporting the peace process in Syria. And on that point, we’re also addressing the Americans and the Russians, who co-chair that committee, so that it can meet really very swiftly to ensure that the ceasefire comes about and humanitarian aid can resume. For the time being, as the United Nations has just said, a million people who could benefit from humanitarian aid are being deprived of it. A tragedy is occurring over there, and for us it’s important for the international community to be mobilized. So all initiatives are good, and this is one of them. The peace process must be able to resume. For us, there’s no outcome other than the path of negotiation. And if we want this negotiation to resume, strong actions are necessary. Those who can influence Bashar al-Assad’s regime must do so, and do so quickly! At any rate, that’s what we want to show here strongly, with conviction, by meeting in Berlin. Thank you./.