France welcomes the resumption of negotiations between the opposition and the Syrian regime under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva.
We reiterate our full support for the mediation effort led by the UN secretary general’s special envoy Staffan de Mistura.
France calls on the Syrian parties, starting with the regime, to engage in these talks with good faith, so that this new session may bring about progress on a political transition negotiated within the framework of Geneva and Security Council resolution 2254. Only a political solution will make it possible to defeat terrorism in Syria in the long term, to restore peace, and to facilitate the return of refugees. The four principal subjects - governance, a constitution, elections, and counterterrorism - identified at previous sessions must be part of a clearly established agenda.
France will continue to support the delegation of the High Negotiations Committee in these talks, as the President reiterated during his telephone conversation with its head, Riyad Hijab, on July 6.
These negotiations must also give all parties the opportunity to make concrete commitments to protecting civilians and allowing the safe, complete, immediate and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to all populations in need throughout the country. The cessation of hostilities, as well as a definitive halt to the use of chemical weapons and the complete dismantlement of stockpiles, are also crucial priorities for easing the suffering of the people and allowing the dialogue to move forward in Geneva. In this regard, the de-escalation agreement reached in the regions of Deraa, Quneitra and As-Suwayda is a positive step that must usher in a true cessation of violence and the arrival of humanitarian aid. This approach must be extended throughout Syrian territory, particularly in line with the Astana Process.
France is committed to resolving this conflict and helping the Syrian people. Given the humanitarian challenge, we allocated 243 million euros for the period of 2011-2016, much of it to support Syria’s neighbors. For 2017, nearly 75 million euros, 60 million of it for neighboring countries, will be contributed in keeping with the commitments we made at the London Conference on the international response to the consequences of the Syrian crisis (February 4, 2016) and the Brussels conference on the future of Syria and the region (April 5, 2017).