Paris, March 2, 2012
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 2nd March 2012)
Adoption of a Security Council statement demanding humanitarian access in Syria
France welcomes the unanimous adoption by the Security Council of a statement calling upon the Syrian authorities to guarantee immediate and unhindered access to the populations in need of assistance and to authorize Ms. Amos’s visit to Syria.
Beyond the humanitarian emergency, this crisis requires a political solution. Damascus must put an immediate end to the relentless crackdown which has already caused the death of more than 7,000 civilians, and embark on a credible transition process, based on the Arab League plan.
France tried, for several days, to organize with the Syrian authorities the evacuation of Ms. Edith Bouvier and Mr. William Daniels. Without the Syrian authorities’ approval to allow a representative from the French embassy to go to the area, this evacuation proved impossible.
France is grateful to all those who tried to support this evacuation, notably Russia.
Since it had no contact with its nationals, it wasn’t able, at any time, to inform them of the measures taken to ensure their safety, and is happy that they were able to get to Lebanon.
Their return to France is the only outcome that matters.
Pakistan - India - Process to normalize trade relations
Yesterday, Pakistan decided to further open its borders to trade with India and to embark on the path toward normalizing its trade relations with its neighbor.
France welcomes this decision, which follows the visit to Islamabad by India’s Commerce Minister, Mr. Anand Sharma. It’s the first step in the plan approved by both governments aimed at standardizing economic relations by granting, in a spirit of reciprocity based on the current situation, the most-favored nation status to India.
This normalization of trade relations represents a significant and positive step forward in the political dialogue that was relaunched nearly a year ago between the two countries. It paves the way toward strengthening economic relations between India and Pakistan, which in turn will ensure greater prosperity throughout the subcontinent.