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27 September 2010 - Remarks to the press by Mr. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

(In English and in French)

I visited Haiti for two days and I had the opportunity in the name of Hillary Clinton and in my own name to start the process of rebuilding the University hospital, plus the School of nurses and the School of Medicine. It was very moving because it was the place where thousands and thousands of wounded people were taken care of during the very dark days. It will take certainly two to three years to rebuild only the hospital but it was something. It is funded by both the Americans and the Frenchs.

Another thing: the cultural centre. You know we need a cultural centre: people are living under tents and they have nothing to do. No jobs, we have to create that. So in a way it was better, compared to my last visit, six months ago but also people are waiting, it is very difficult and we gave direct money to the budget : 20 million euros etc..

So I think it’s getting better but we can’t be impatient, this is not possible. The magnitude of the earthquake was so unimaginable that it will take months and years to change the whole situation. And also, the people are always asking: "When, when, when?". Money is coming, the international effort, Minustah, etc. But it will take years.

Q. Moratorium on settlements

Don’t be too nervous. There was no breakdown yesterday, no big incident and they are following the process of peace, waiting for the meeting of the Arab League on next Saturday. And I think that President Abbas was wise enough to tell us yesterday that it was not the end of the peace talks, the direct talks, and Prime Minister Netanyahu was wise enough to advise the settlers not to move too much, but this is not enough I know. You know my country is strongly in disfavour of settlements, new settlements. We were in favour of the prolongation of the moratorium. So we have to work, we are still working, for the international pressure to come and to try to convince the protagonists.

Q. Would you agree with President Assad that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is a threat to Lebanon, that it is going to destabilize Lebanon. Does France share this view?

You didn’t listen to my speech. We are in favour of International Justice. Despite the timing and the agenda, we are in favour and I personally was the author, and I gave the speech in Rome when the ICC was set up. Don’t ask us to break our convictions. What is important in the peace process is certainly to go on and we are looking forward to that.

Q. Dodic said that after the Kosovo resolution they will move towards secession in Bosnia

I completely disapprove this attitude. I know Mr Dodic, and he was absolutely not on this line. I know the problem in Bosnia, it’s very difficult. A Dayton peace agreement is certainly a step forward. Remember the massacres. Remember Srebrenica. Remember everything. Don’t be always desperate. The international community, we intervened there, with you, with the people of peace. And it was a bit better. Now we have to offer to the people in Republika Srbska, in the second entity, in the Bosniac area. We must follow up our job. Convince them to open up to Europe. There is this visa problem. I am in favour of offering visa to the Bosniacs because the Serbians are going to Belgrade and they get a visa, the others are going to Zagreb and they have a visa. This is the beginning of something and we will see in October because there will be a meeting, step by step we are making progress. Don’t say separation etc… Kosovo was something else. In Kosovo they were hating each other and the peace process was necessary. On Kosovo there is a sort of drop of hope because Mr. Tadic was wise enough and brave enough to accept the EU resolution going to the General Assembly. This is a big progress. Don’t be always on the bad and grim side.

Q. Vous dites que le processus de paix n’est pas en danger au Moyen Orient

Si il est en danger mais il y a quand même un espoir

Q. Que pensez-vous de ce bateau israélien qui se dirige vers Gaza ? Vous n’avez pas trouvé un peu indécent la façon dont les Israéliens se sont conduits hier avec le lâcher de ballons et le recommencement des constructions ?

Je pense que c’est à eux que le Premier Ministre Netanyahou s’est adressé et que c’est bien de leur dire " arrêter, la paix est plus importante que ce que vous appelez votre victoire. Votre victoire au contraire contrarie la paix nécessaire ". Je crois que c’est comme ça qu’il faut voir les choses. Quant au bateau qui se dirige vers Gaza vous savez très bien que toutes ces manifestations sont nécessaires pour que l’opinion publique ait l’attention attirée. Mais ce qui compte c’est de supprimer les causes de cette tension et pour cela il faut faire la paix. La paix ça veut dire un Etat palestinien. Si un jour ils veulent faire un Etat unique : les Palestiniens, les Israéliens qu’ils le fassent ! Mais pour le moment nous en sommes là et il n’y a rien à espérer de plus. Tout le monde savait et était plein d’espoir lorsqu’il s’agissait des négociations avec le gouvernement de M. Ehud Olmert. Nous ne sommes pas revenus à ce point là, nous avons tout recommencé. L’Europe n’était pas très d’accord. J’espère que tout cela sera surmonté parce que je sais que les Palestiniens, pas les chefs palestiniens, et les Israéliens, pas les chefs israéliens, veulent la paix. Faites un sondage, vous voyez qu’à 73% ils veulent la paix. Alors qu’attend-t-on ?

Q. Abdul Wahid Al Nur has been in Paris for some time. He said he was to take part in the Doha process but it hasn’t happened, so I was wondering what France can do to get the door full process on track. What is your advice?

To put him in jail! He promised, he said that to Al-Jazeera or Al-Arabya and another TV channel, he said "yes we will participate in Doha and I will visit Doha". So there we are, I am not receiving him every week, but very often me and my people are receiving Abdul Wahid Al Nur. It is a sort of hope. We can’t expel him, to where? to Sudan?

Q. Is he behind the violence in the camps? Is it something France is trying to investigate in order to expel him?

I don’t know because what is happening in the camps is under several influences but Abdul Wahid represents a lot, the majority in the camps. So we have to take him into account and his opinion. My friend Bassolé and the Qatari people are coming to France and they are meeting him. We are trying all together to make him accept to come to Doha.

Q. What do you expect from the negotiations on Iran beginning in October?

Negotiations. I’m always in favour of negotiations. I hope they will understand each other. I am not in favour of confrontation.

Q. Vous avez déclaré à RTL hors micro en Haïti que vous étiez sur le départ du gouvernement

Ne croyez pas ce que j’ai dit hors micro, sinon qu’on me le prouve !

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