Paris, June 26, 2012
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 26th June 2012) :
NATO meeting on Syria (Brussels, June 26)
Following the downing of a Turkish fighter jet without warning on June 22, the North Atlantic Council is holding consultations at Turkey’s request, under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty.
As Laurent Fabius stated yesterday, France will express solidarity with its Turkish ally at today’s NATO meeting and will repeat its firm condemnation of this unacceptable action.
Indeed, this attack constitutes a violation of international law and reminds us that Bashar al-Assad’s regime is threatening international peace and security. It is consistent with the regime’s escalating violence against its own population.
It is time for all Security Council members to unambiguously back the efforts of joint special envoy Kofi Annan to stop the violence and urgently implement a democratic transition that fulfills the aspirations of the Syrian people.
As the foreign minister reiterated at yesterday’s Foreign Affairs Council in Luxemburg, France is fully mobilized to stop the Syrian tragedy.
We are working on three separate tracks.
First, we and our European partners have worked to adopt new sanctions against the regime in Damascus and against all officials taking part in the repression of civilians. They include a new individual (Bouthaina Shaaban, Bashar al-Assad’s political and media adviser) and six entities (the Syrian defense and interior ministries, the Syrian National Security Bureau, the General Organization of Radio and Television Syria, the Syria International Islamic Bank, and the Syrian Company for Oil Transport).
The Council also adopted a second regulation banning the provision of insurance services to any individual or entity transporting military equipment to Syria.
We also intend to strengthen the Annan plan by placing it under Chapter 7. We are in constant contact with our Security Council partners to pass a resolution to that end. In this regard, the Security Council will hold consultations today on Syria, and they will offer an opportunity to emphasize our messages and our expectations on this issue.
Finally, we support the opposition’s efforts to unite around a common vision of political transition in line with the democratic and pluralistic aspirations of the Syrian people. The next meeting of the Friends of Syria Group in Paris on July 6 will represent an important step in this regard.