Q - After the fall of Raqqa, IS hardly holds any territory in Syria and the “caliphate” no longer exists. What is the next step? Are you going to push for a political solution in Syria, and what is the contact group doing, concretely?
A - Some land is still under the control of Daesh in Syria.
France will therefore continue its fight against that organization, alongside its coalition partners.
Significant progress in the fight against terrorism strengthens the need to rapidly achieve a political solution that brings Syrians together, the only way to prevent a resurgence of terrorism in the long run. France’s efforts to bring together within a contact group those countries that exert influence on Syria is aimed at facilitating the achievement of such a solution.
Q- What kind of administration would you like to see replace the type of government that the Islamic State had established in Raqqa? What is France doing to help civilians, and do you intend to help restore the city’s basic infrastructure? Are you prepared to provide financial assistance to rebuild the region in the long term?
A - In the stabilization phase, which is beginning now, establishing effective and legitimate governing authorities is a necessity. It is a priority for France, which is conducting an in-depth dialogue on this subject with its partners in the international coalition against Daesh.
France has released additional funds for humanitarian aid and the stabilization of areas liberated from Daesh (emergency relief for displaced persons, mine clearance, healthcare, access to water, etc.).
As for reconstruction, France and its European partners have expressed themselves clearly. There can be no long-term reconstruction without clear political prospects and the secure return of refugees and displaced persons. These conditions are not yet in place.