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24 October 2012 - Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

As I said when I entered the Security Council, everybody is for a cessation of violence. Actually we have a basis for it, which are resolutions 2042 and 2043. They establish a very clear sequence. It means the regime first has to stop shelling the civilian neighbourhoods with heavy weapons.

We have modified the text proposed by Russia. To put it very clearly, the first responsibility is on the regime side. So now, we are going to wait first for the Syrian answer to the proposal because there is no Syrian answer. Mr Brahimi told us that he is waiting for the official answer from the Syrian regime. Secondly, we are waiting to know whether the Syrian regime is going to implement it by stopping the heavy shelling of the civilian neighbourhoods and after that, we will see if the opposition is also responding to it. So it means that if it works, we will have a truce of three days during the Muslim festival. The hope of Mr Brahimi is, on this basis, to transform this truce into an enduring cease-fire.

Q: So no confirmation from the Assad side?

What Mr. Brahimi said is that he is waiting for an official declaration by the Syrian government. President Assad told Mr. Brahimi they were going to make an official declaration. So we have to wait for the text to know whether there will be a truce, which conditions and so on and so on.

Q: How did Mr Brahimi sound, did he sound very helpful or cautious?

He is helpful but he is cautious.

Q: Is there any indication from the Assad side, what did Mr Brahimi say?

There is no indication from the Assad side. They said that they were going to consider the proposal and that they will answer officially. My impression was that Mr Brahimi was waiting for a Syrian declaration today on the truce.

Q: What should be done to prevent a spill over in neighbour countries?

To prevent spill over you have to cease the violence within Syria because the more the violence is lasting in Syria and the more there will be spill over. It is nearly unavoidable. So the question was whether if at least we could get a truce leading to a cessation of violence.

Q: Once Mr. Brahimi has an official answer from Damas, does he come back to the Security Council?

Mr Brahimi said that he got some assurances from the opposition that it will respond by also stopping the violence. But Mr Brahimi added that it was much more complicated because with the opposition there is no unique leadership. But he had received some indications from different groups.

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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