I wish to welcome the presence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. I also wish to thank the Deputy Secretary-General for her presence, and Mr. Fernandez-Taranco for his briefing.
We have expressed our emotions at the tragic consequences of the Israeli operation against the flotilla heading for Gaza.
We have presented our condolences to the victims and their families.
The human toll of this operation leads us to believe that there was disproportionate use of force and a level of violence that nothing justifies and that we condemn.
That being the case, before drawing conclusions it is necessary to know the facts. Therefore, we would like to have full light shed through an in-depth investigation, which should be conducted immediately. That investigation should be independent, credible and in line with international standards.
Beyond this tragic event, this business reminds us of the need to re-establish humanitarian access to Gaza under resolution 1860 (2009), and we call for the lifting of the blockade, which is unsustainable and illegal.
France, like the European Union, requests that consular access be granted immediately under the Vienna Convention to the nationals of member States who at this moment are being held in Israel after the operation.
But beyond the Gaza event and the questions raised by the blockade of Gaza, this incident brings to mind the need to resume the peace process. In the absence of a credible peace process we are doomed to a repetition of incidents, which are becoming bloodier and bloodier. That is why France believes that a meeting of the Quartet at the ministerial level could enable both a lifting of the Gaza blockade and support for resumption of the peace talks.