Middle East ceasefire is "absolute priority" - Franck Riester

Middle East – Replies by M. Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to two questions in the National Assembly (excerpt)

Paris, 18 May 2021

May I pass on the apologies of Jean-Yves Le Drian, who at this very moment is at the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council, precisely to discuss the issue of the Middle East, where, as you’ve said, the situation is serious and the absolute priority is the ceasefire.

More than 3,000 rockets have hit Israel in the space of a few days. Eight hundred Israeli strikes have struck Gaza. There are many casualties – a heavy human toll. So we must do everything to bring the hostilities to an end.

I want to reiterate here our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. France condemns the rocket attacks on Israel.

We must also say very clearly how worried we are about civilians in Gaza. We must state very clearly our demand that access to humanitarian aid should be guaranteed in Gaza, that the safety of medical and humanitarian teams should be guaranteed, and also that [the safety of] journalists and all those who, through what they say, contribute to freedom of information and in some way to the public debate should be guaranteed, because it’s an essential responsibility.

The President and the Government are making active efforts to bring an end to hostilities. Only a few minutes ago, the President spoke to the King of Jordan and President Sisi, obviously after speaking to Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas, to find a solution, bring an end to hostilities and overcome this conflict. (…)./.

Published on 19/05/2021

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