Middle East – International Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence (Madrid, 24 May 2017)

France is taking part in the second International Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East, which is being held today in Madrid.

The first conference, held in Paris on September 8, 2015, adopted an action plan in support of populations persecuted for ethnic or religious reasons, particularly those belonging to Christian, Yazidi and Shabak minorities.

Support for cultural diversity in the Middle East is a staunch priority for France, whose aim is to allow all residents of Syria and Iraq without distinction to live safely in their countries and enjoy full citizenship. We also call for the international community to exhibit a stronger commitment to the voluntary and safe return of refugees and displaced persons.

That means implementing political solutions in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, we actively support the mediation effort by the UN special envoy to implement the transition defined by the international community. In Iraq, France supports the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and encourages it to continue its efforts on behalf of national reconciliation and to establish inclusive governance.

In addition to its political and military commitments, France pursues a comprehensive policy respecting the diversity all the people of the region. It includes humanitarian shelter and support, assistance with returning to and stabilizing areas freed from Daesh control, support for civil society, fighting impunity, and protecting cultural heritage.

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