The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, had a telephone conversation this morning with his Turkish counterpart, Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. The two ministers discussed the situation in Syria, and more specifically developments under way in Afrin, Idlib and Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.
France is mindful of Turkey’s security, its territory and its borders. It calls on the Turkish authorities to act with restraint, in a difficult context where the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in several regions of Syria as a result of the military operations being conducted there by the Damascus regime and its allies. It also emphasizes the paramount importance of carrying through the mission of the Global Coalition against Daesh [so-called ISIL] and recalls the need to create the necessary conditions on the ground to stabilize Syria and bring about a lasting political solution – which alone is capable of guaranteeing the security of both the Syrian people and Syria’s neighbours.
In this context, France stresses the need for humanitarian law to be respected, which is an obligation for all parties. It thus utterly condemns the indiscriminate bombing which targets, among other things, residential areas and medical infrastructure, and which the Syrian regime has carried out in the past few weeks in Idlib Governorate. It asks for humanitarian access to be opened up immediately to Eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 besieged civilians are in a critical situation.
France calls on the Astana agreement’s guarantor powers to ensure that the de-escalation zones established in that framework in Idlib, northern Homs Governorate, the Ghouta region and south-west Syria are respected. Given recent developments on the ground, it is asking for the Security Council to hold an urgent meeting on the situation in Syria.