Laurent Fabius’s visit to Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon (August 15 to 17, 2012)

Laurent Fabius visited Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. During this visit, the foreign minister expressed France’s support for Syrian refugees forced into exile by the regime’s atrocities. This trip also had a political dimension. Mr. Fabius held high-level talks as part of France’s efforts to promote a swift and credible political transition in Syria.

The foreign minister arrived in Amman on August 15. The following day, he visited a refugee camp, accompanied by his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh. He met with personnel from the medical/surgical unit deployed by France, which has begun treating victims of the fighting in Syria. Mr. Fabius also met with French humanitarian workers in the camp. He gave a statement to the press. Finally, a meeting with King Abdullah II was scheduled.

In Lebanon, the minister met with the highest Lebanese officials: the president, the prime minister, the president of the Parliament and the minister of foreign affairs. He met with humanitarian actors. Laurent Fabius also spoke with opposition figures. He travelled to Turkey the following day.

In Turkey, Mr. Fabius visited a refugee camp. He met in Ankara his counterpart, Ahmet Davutoğlu.

Syria (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - 07.08.12)

Q : Will the president’s announcement that medical supplies are being shipped to the Jordanian-Syrian border be followed by other humanitarian relief initiatives? Is French humanitarian aid already on its way to the Syrian interior, and if so, by what means?

A : Medical assistance will be provided to victims of the fighting and to Syrian refugees in Jordan, particularly those with bullet wounds. It is expected to include a mobile surgical unit near the Jordanian-Syrian border. An advance team from the Interior, Defense and Foreign Ministries left this morning to perform a needs assessment, in conjunction with Jordanian authorities as well as NGOs on the ground, in order to more accurately target this emergency medical aid.

For more than a year, France has been providing material and financial support to the Syrian people and the victims of the crackdown in the form of medical and surgical equipment and food aid, delivered notably through local solidarity networks.

Since the Paris meeting on July 6, we have stepped up this support while continuing to use local solidarity networks. French food aid now reaches more than 100,000 people.

After July 6, with the worsening of the humanitarian situation in Damascus and its suburbs, we were able to send food aid to more than 10,000 people inside the country and to allocate a specific amount for emergency medical aid. We are currently striving to respond to the situation in Aleppo and its region in the same way.

We also support the mobilization of Syrian efforts, notably by health professionals outside of the country who are working closely with solidarity networks inside Syria. That’s why we have a long-term partnership, amounting to nearly 450,000 euros, with the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations. This partnership covers the shipment of medical supplies and directly supports both doctors who are treating victims of the crackdown and health-care facilities on the ground.

France also supports the major international humanitarian organizations (the ICRC, UNICEF, etc.) as well as NGOs (MDM, Handicap international, etc.) in their efforts to provide aid, both to Syrians inside the country and to refugees.

The relief provided by the EU to refugees should also be noted. As part of the Paris meeting, we and our European partners decided to double that aid, which now amounts to 90 million euros.