Q – An airstrike on the town of Atarab reportedly killed at least 29 people yesterday, the investigation into chemical weapons might not be renewed tomorrow, and the UN estimates that 400,000 civilians are threatened with total catastrophe in the rebel enclaves of East Ghouta. Do you feel that France’s key strategies regarding Syria have produced concrete results?
A – France condemns the bombing of Atarab on November 13 that caused the death of several dozen civilians. We call on the allies of the Damascus regime to do everything in their power to end these unacceptable attacks and bring about a definitive cessation of hostilities.
With respect to chemical weapons, we are continuing our discussions at the Security Council with the aim of renewing the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The JIM conducted an outstanding investigation. Extending its mandate is crucial so that it may continue to play a deterrent role, protect the non-proliferation regime, and establish the truth on chemical weapons in Syria.
The secure, full, unconditional, and unhindered shipment of humanitarian aid to all civilian populations is an absolute necessity. It is the highest priority in our discussions with our partners, particularly the Russians. The deliveries that were able to take place are clearly insufficient.
These elements all confirm the urgent need to reach a political solution, the only thing that will bring an end to the conflict. France is continuing its efforts to this end with its partners and within international bodies. The negotiations in Geneva, which will resume at the end of the month, must enable the parties to move forward in a constructive manner, in accordance with the Geneva communiqué and Security Council resolution 2254, which is the road map agreed upon by the international community.