Communiqué issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (28 Feb. 2020)


I spoke this afternoon with Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

I offered him France’s condolences and support for Turkey in the aftermath of yesterday’s attack on Turkish forces in northwestern Syria. I condemned the repeated violations by the Syrian regime and by Russia of their commitments on de-escalation in Idlib province and of international humanitarian law.

I reiterated France’s call to the Syrian regime and to Russia to end the military offensive under way in northwestern Syria, to fully abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, and to return to the ceasefire arrangements of fall 2018 in order to bring an immediate end to the hostilities. Russia must continue negotiations with Turkey to bring about de-escalation in Idlib and facilitate the restarting of the political process.

Lastly, I applauded the efforts by Syria’s neighbors, and Turkey in particular, to provide assistance to Syrian refugees, and I reiterated our determination to mobilize strengthened humanitarian assistance, both nationally and with the European Union and its member states.