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Syria (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - June 18, 2012)

What’s the status of discussions between the Security Council members on Syria, following the suspension of the UN observer mission? Has France made any progress in its determination to place the Annan plan under Chapter 7?

I want to remind you of the remarks made by Ms. Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which we fully endorse: “We must also make every effort to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable, including those who attacked the UN observers in Syria.”

In the face of the regime’s relentless crackdown, notably in the city of Homs currently being bombarded by Syrian armed forces, it’s more necessary than ever to make the Annan plan binding and place it under Chapter 7 at the UN Security Council and, more generally, to convey a message of firmness to the Syrian authorities regarding the imperative of complying with their commitments and the consequences they will have to face if they continue to flout them, in accordance with the demand made by the Special Envoy several days ago.

General Mood, head of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), will address the Security Council on Tuesday, following the suspension of the observation mission. Following this presentation, we will examine, together with our Security Council partners, the consequences to be drawn.

The G20 Summit begins today in Los Cabos in Mexico. It’s our understanding that the situation in Syria will be addressed there.

Furthermore, and in line with Mr. Laurent Fabius’s statements last week, we will address with our partners the issue of strengthening sanctions against the Syrian regime and against all those who are participating in the crackdown that it is imposing on its people.

Lastly, the Ambassador of France to Syria, Mr. Eric Chevallier, attended the Syrian opposition meeting that just took place in Istanbul. He reaffirmed his support for the opposition as well as the need for the opposition to be united around a shared vision of the transition.

Mr. Chevallier spoke with Mr. Abdelbaset Sieda, the leader of the SNC, to whom he reaffirmed France’s commitment.


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