France firmly condemns the continued crackdown in Syria which is, as President Sarkozy and the Ministre d’Etat underlined, unacceptable.
As Alain Juppé stated yesterday, we are taking action in four directions:
- At the national level, we are unequivocally expressing our condemnation to the Syrian authorities: Syria’s ambassador in Paris was summoned yesterday to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to that end.
- While this increasingly violent crackdown is exacting a heavy human toll, we regret that the open UN Security Council sessionyesterday afternoon did not lead to a public statement condemning the violence. France hopes that the Security Council will soon be able to issue a statement.
- The ambassadors to the European Union Political and Security Committee will meet from April 29 onwards in order to examine the sanctions that could be adopted by the European Union.
- We are also arguing in favor of strong action by the Human Rights Council, which will meet on Friday for a special session devoted to Syria. France, together with its European Union partners, supported the holding on Friday April 29 of an extraordinary session of the Human Rights Council devoted to the human rights situation in Syria. Given the extreme seriousness of the situation on the ground and in view of the escalating crackdown on all forms of protest, the Security Council must deliver a very strong message vigorously denouncing the massive human rights violations perpetrated by the Syrian regime.
France also intends to make the international community aware of the incongruous nature, in the current context, of Syria’s candidacy for a seat on the Human Rights Council in May.
Lastly, we remain especially concerned by the continuing deterioration of the working conditions of Syrian and foreign journalists in Syria. In this respect, France is closely monitoring the situation of the Algerian journalist, Khaled Sid Mohand; France demands his immediate release.