Foreign terrorist fighters – Q&A from the press briefing (13 Jan. 2020)


Q: For the first time, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet spoke of the return of French jihadists held in Syria and their prosecution in France, given the lack of a solution in Iraq mentioned in December by Jean-Yves Le Drian. Have you given up on any other option than Iraq for their prosecution, and is their swift return to France now being planned?

A: We have no comment.

Q: King Abdullah II of Jordan asserts that “several thousand foreign fighters” have left Idlib for Libya. Do you have similar information regarding Syrian fighters or those of other nationalities?

A: As the Minister said today in an interview with the daily Sud-Ouest, the instability and chaos in Libya are due to clashes between militias, all sorts of trafficking, the pillaging of resources that are supposed to benefit all Libyans, and growing interference from foreign powers. Things cannot remain as they are.

We are in close contact with our European partners and we agree on certain principles: there will be no military solution or any solution that is exempt from international law, or any solution that comes about via the intervention of foreign countries using Libya as a battleground. On this basis, an international conference will be held in Berlin and will be attended by the most important Libyan and international actors, including the UN and the African Union. It is a good initiative, enabling the announced truce to lead to a lasting cessation of hostilities and allowing a genuine political process and dialogue among the Libyan parties to get under way.