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19 July 2012 - Security Council - Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

In French and in English

Vous êtes tous au courant de la séquence de vétos que nous avons subie par la Russie et la Chine à trois reprises. 3000 morts, un véto ; 6000 morts, un véto ; 17000 morts, un véto. Et pourtant nous avions tou fait pour essayer de réunir la communauté internationale, pour trouver une transition politique et pour soutenir Kofi Annan. Kofi Annan nous avait demandé de lui donner les moyens de faire pression sur le gouvernement syrien afin de l’amener à mettre en œuvre ses engagements.

Notre texte était modéré. Si vous le lisez, vous vous rendrez compte qu’il n’y avait que des menaces de sanctions. Même ce texte a fait l’objet d’un véto. Je crois que c’est désormais clair : la Russie et la Chine ont décidé de soutenir inconditionnellement le régime syrien et le soutiendront jusqu’à la fin dans son entreprise de répression sanglante de l’opposition.

C’est un échec du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies. Néanmoins, comme le Président de la République française et le ministre Laurent Fabius l’ont dit à la réunion de Paris où nous avons réuni 107 pays autour du même projet, nous continuerons à accompagner l’opposition syrienne dans son combat pour la liberté et la démocratie. Dans ce jour assez triste, nous devons surtout penser au peuple syrien qui depuis maintenant 17 mois subit la répression, subit la mort, la torture, le viol. C’est un triste jour pour le Conseil de sécurité, mais c’est surtout, et c’est cela l’essentiel, un triste jour pour la Syrie.

Is that the end of the Kofi Annan plan?

I really don’t know. Kofi Annan has always said that he cannot deliver by himself a political process, that he needs the support of the Security Council, he needs the unity of the international community. He had actually requested that we use Chapter VII. Now, it is obvious that the international community is divided, so we are going to see if something is still possible on the diplomatic front. We’ll see it in the coming days.

Is that the end of diplomacy?

We are not in charge of declaring the end of the plan. It is the facts on the ground which will decide, in the coming hours or coming days, whether the regime, which has not implemented what was requested from it, we’ll do something.

Since the UNSMIS mandate expires tomorrow, what will happen to the 300 people there?

My American colleague said it: you can consider that it does not make any sense to keep the UNSMIS on the ground, since there is no political process, and the UNSMIS is not an end in itself. We might consider in the coming hours a short final extension of the UNSMIS. As the Council, we will look at the issue in the coming hours before Friday night.

What is the next step? What happens after the Council is so divided that there is no action? What do you do now?

We are going to work in the Group of the Friends of Syria; we are going to work with the opposition. It is very important that the opposition appears as a real credible force for the future of Syria.

There is also the question of the accountability of the regime. We are going to pursue this issue. The regime, which means people, have to be held accountable and we’ll do our best to get this.

Mr Jafari accused some members of the Security Council to have double standards when it comes to terrorism. Do you consider the operation that happened yesterday, killing three senior generals, as a terrorist attack or a third party attack?

We have always condemned terrorism so I think there is no ambiguity. What is happening right now in Damascus, these attacks and the shelling of civilian neighbourhoods by the regime is showing that we need more than ever to find a political solution.

En savoir plus sur la Syrie



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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU