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Syria (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - June 5, 2013)

Syria - Qusayr

Q : Will France request that the Red Cross be granted free access to the city of Qusayr in Syria? What can France do in humanitarian terms to help the injured? Will it suggest bringing these injured people to France as was the case during other conflicts?

A : Ensuring access to humanitarian assistance for the populations is essential. We call on the Damascus authorities to grant the international humanitarian organizations and the NGOs free access to their entire territory.

The UN Human Rights Council has just warned of the urgency of the situation in the city of Qusayr and the need for the Damascus authorities to allow access to humanitarian assistance.

Regarding your second question, France has provided, on a bilateral basis, more than €20 million in aid to the civilian populations in Syria and refugees in neighboring countries. We are lending support to several treatment center projects in Syria in partnership with networks of doctors and notably with the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations. This aid involves, first and foremost, financial support for establishing and operating these centers as well as for paying the salaries of doctors who are taking huge risks in order to provide care. It also involves the delivery of medicines and medical products.

Syria - Geneva II conference

Q : Do you think that a list of participants will be provided following the tripartite meeting to prepare for the Geneva II conference on Wednesday?

With respect to Laurent Fabius’s statements on chemical weapons, is there a possibility that the matter will be referred to the Security Council? On what terms and when?

Lastly, do you know what kind of evidence the Obama administration is waiting for in order to be able blame one side or the other for using sarin gas?

A : Today’s meeting, which is taking place at the technical level, is dedicated to preparing for the Geneva II conference. It’s up to the authorities organizing this meeting to report on its outcome.

The possibility of a referral to the UN Security Council is one of the options under consideration. As Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed yesterday, “all options are on the table.” We’re working in close cooperation with our partners on this issue.

Lastly, with respect to your last point, I urge you to put your questions to the American authorities.


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