For several months now, France has been demanding, together with the international community, that Syria take steps toward a peaceful solution and that it comply with its international obligations. We were especially shocked by the fact that, after having agreed to an ICRC mission to Homs, the Syrian authorities prevented any humanitarian access to the population in the Baba Amr neighborhood.
Given that the request to authorize Ms. Amos’s visit to Syria was initially denied, on March 1, the Security Council called upon the Syrian authorities to fully cooperate with the United Nations in order to guarantee free and unhindered access by the humanitarian organizations.
Ms. Amos’s visit to Syria, which is expected to take place from March 7 to 9, is a step forward. But we now expect the Syrian authorities to take concrete and immediate actions. It is up to them to ensure, without any further delay, free and unhindered access by the humanitarian organizations to their entire territory, in particular to the populations affected by violence and the areas under threat, including in Homs and the other cities under attack. Without access, the humanitarian organizations cannot properly assess requirements or provide humanitarian assistance to the populations in need.
Beyond the humanitarian emergency, it is up to the Syrian authorities to put an immediate end to the violence in order to clear the way for a peaceful and credible political solution based on the Arab League initiative. That’s the whole purpose of the mission of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, Mr. Annan, which must be supported by all international actors and which France fully supports.
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