Syria – United Nations – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria (Paris, February 10, 2017)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, met with Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria.

Jean-Marc Ayrault and Staffan de Mistura took stock of the political and security situation in Syria as well as preparations for the inter-Syrian negotiations, scheduled to resume on February 20 in Geneva. In order to ensure the success of these negotiations, the opposition must be represented in a credible manner. Jean-Marc Ayrault and Staffan de Mistura will also discuss the critical humanitarian situation affecting the civilian population in the absence of aid delivery.

France wants the inter-Syrian negotiations to result in a political transition in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué and UNSCR 2254. Such a transition is essential in order to restore lasting peace in Syria and effectively combat terrorism.

Q & A from the daily press briefing of February 10, 2017

Q - In order to ensure the success of these negotiations, the opposition must be represented in a credible manner.” Does that mean that the format identified in 2016 with three negotiation sessions no longer corresponds – as far as France is concerned - to the current state of affairs and that the composition of the opposition’s delegation should be changed?

A - We are attached to the representativeness of the opposition and all its components in the negotiations. The minister will reaffirm this to Staffan de Mistura this afternoon.

Q - There was some kind of conflict between Mr. de Mistura and the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), when Mr. de Mistura stated that if the HNC did not manage to appoint a delegation that represented all Syrians, then he would appoint the delegation. Is that your understanding of the situation?

A - Staffan de Mistura will have an opportunity to explain to you in the late afternoon during the press briefing how these negotiations will be conducted since he is the special envoy of the UN and of the UN secretary-general and he is responsible for organizing these negotiations.

In any event, France’s message is that it is attached to the negotiations under the auspices of the special envoy of the UN secretary-general. That’s the first message. It is in this context that the discussions can be the most effective.

The second message is that we need to make progress toward a transition and hold discussions within the framework established by UNSCR 2254, which sets the parameters of these negotiations and their goal.

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