Political solution in Syria should include Kurds - Minister

Syria – Turkey – Reply by Mme Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, to a question in the Senate

Paris, 27 March 2018

The escalation is continuing in Syria; Turkish troops took Afrin on 18 March, President Erdogan has raised fears since that the Turkish intervention will continue, particularly in the Tal Rifaat area, where 75,000 people are believed to have taken refuge. We have expressed our very deep concern publicly and in our contacts with the Turkish authorities.

France’s position is very clear: while Turkey’s concern for ensuring the security of its border is understandable, nothing can justify it remaining deep inside Syrian territory over the long term.

There are our humanitarian concerns, of course, because 100,000 people have fled Afrin. There are legal ones, since United Nations Security Council Resolution 2401 has imposed a cessation of hostilities over the whole of Syrian territory, and this resolution is violated day after day. There are also operational and security concerns. As you pointed out, France is fully aware that the Kurdish forces are lending decisive support to the fight against Daesh [so-called ISIL]. The international community’s absolute priority must be to continue this battle. The Carcassonne and Trèbes attacks painfully reminded us of this.

The President spoke once again to President Erdogan on 24 March to reiterate the need for Turkey to allow full access for humanitarian aid and to repeat the absolute priority of the fight against Daesh. He also reiterated this priority to President Trump, with whom he has just spoken on the telephone.

We need the Kurds in order to fight Daesh, and ultimately only a political solution which includes the Kurds in particular is able to ensure Syria’s stability and the security of its neighbours and ourselves./.

Published on 09/04/2018

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