Paris, June 22, 2012
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 22nd June 2012) :
Syria – Defection of Colonel Hassan Hamadeh
France welcomes the defection of Colonel Hassan Hamadeh and commends this courageous gesture. Colonel Hassan Hamadeh joins the growing number of Syrian army officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted men who have, over the past 15 months, chosen dignity and the fight for freedom in the face of the Syrian regime’s barbarity.
By refusing to play a role in the crackdown being imposed by Bashar al-Assad, these defectors deserve our recognition and that of the Syrian people.
France urges the members of the Syrian army and security forces to carry out their duty which is, above all, to protect the people and not to violently crush them by executing the regime’s criminal orders.
Situation in Egypt
I’m concerned by the institutional developments that have taken place in recent days in Egypt, following the first free presidential elections which should constitute a crucial step toward the establishment of a democratic regime.
The will of the Egyptian people must be respected.
The Constitutional Declaration of June 17 and the dissolution of Parliament should not jeopardize the continuation of the democratic transition and the swift and orderly transfer of power to the elected civilian authorities, which the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces had pledged to carry out by July 1.
While France welcomed the end of the state of emergency, I note with concern the decisions taken by the Justice Ministry on June 13 which strengthen the authority of the military rulers with respect to law enforcement. Public order should be maintained in accordance with human rights and fundamental freedoms.
France wants to see the swift establishment of institutions that meet the democratic expectations of the Egyptian people and guarantee the balance of power and individual and collective freedoms.
France will continue to stand alongside the Egyptian people in their efforts to achieve their democratic aspirations