Resumption of inter-Syrian negotiations [fr]
Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
France welcomes the resumption on April 13 in Geneva of the inter-Syrian negotiations, which are taking place at a difficult time. These talks are crucial to making progress toward peace.
On this occasion, I reaffirm our support for the UN special envoy and commend the constructive approach of the opposition, which is engaging in the Geneva negotiations despite the regime’s provocations.
France will judge the position of the Syrian government’s delegation based on its compliance with the framework established by the international community. It must accept the transfer of power needed to establish a transitional government, in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué and UNSCR 2254, in order to restore lasting peace and unity among the Syrian people.
France again expresses its deep concern at the increasing and deliberate violations of the cessation of hostilities, for which the regime bears the primary responsibility, and in the face of the continued obstacles to humanitarian access, notably in the suburbs of Damascus where hundreds of thousands of people continue to live under siege without access to food or medicines. These actions by the Syrian regime, which pose a threat to the Geneva negotiations, must stop.
Q.- What’s your view regarding the holding of parliamentary elections in Syria in the areas controlled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while the UN Security Council is calling for a political transition in the country through the holding of elections throughout the country? Can these elections be considered legitimate in light of the civil war raging in the country?
A.- France denounces the sham elections being held by the regime. They are taking place without a true election campaign, under the auspices of an oppressive regime and without international observation. Only the residents of a small part of the territory are entitled to vote, to the exclusion of millions of Syrians who have been displaced or sought refuge abroad.
As UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura reaffirmed, the only valid elections are those envisaged by resolution 2254, unanimously adopted by the Security Council. These elections should take place after the implementation of a transition, and the adoption of a new constitution. They should be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations and in accordance with international standards of transparency and fairness.