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Please enter the digits in the box below:  |  Interviews  |  Alain Juppe: Military operation in Syria not being considered


September 08, 2011

Alain Juppe: Military operation in Syria not being considered

Frances Foreign Minister Alain Juppe talks about the future of the Libyan state, his countrys position on the situation in Syria and the prospect of relaxing visa procedures for Russian citizens in an interview with Interfax.

The UN Security Council should lift sanctions and the arms embargo on Libya the moment the National Transitional Council asserts its authority all over Libya, he told Interfax after a meeting of the Russian-French Council for Cooperation in Foreign-Policy and Security Affairs.

"The embargo, like other sanctions, were imposed [on Libya] within the framework of Resolution 1970, passed by the UN Security Council at the start of the crisis. As the National Transitional Council is asserting its rights all across the territory and the threat to civilians is disappearing, we in the Security Council should think of lifting the sanctions," he said.

"We have launched this process already by starting to partially unfreeze bank accounts," he said.

Juppe also said that Muammar Gaddafi must be punished for the crimes he has committed against his own people.

"Gaddafi must be brought to justice for his crimes. The Libyan authorities must choose a punishment for Gaddafi on the basis of Resolution 1970," he said .

"The dead bodies found recently point to the extreme cruelty and atrocities, committed by the Gaddafi regime," he also said.

In line with Resolution 1970 of the UN Security Council, the files on the situation in Libya have been referred to the international criminal court, which in June 2011 issued the mandate to arrest Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi, the chief of Libyas secret services, for the crimes against humanity they had committed, Juppe said.

Concerning the situation surrounding Syria, the French foreign minister said he does not think the Libyan scenario will repeat itself in Syria.

"A military operation is not even being considered today. There is no international mandate for it. In addition to this, the Syrian context differs strongly from the situation in Libya. But in this situation the UN Security Council cannot remain idle: the responsibility that rests on the Security Councils permanent members implies pressure on Bashar al-Assad," Juppe said. "France and its American, British and German allies have urged President Bashar al-Assad to step down as he discredited his regime by cruel reprisals against citizens. Therefore, France heads an international movement which aims to put political and financial pressure on the Syrian leadership," Juppe said.

Regarding Iran he said that the sextet of international mediators must work to ensure that Iran, if it wants to create an atmosphere of trust in the dialogue on its nuclear program, take concrete steps to do so, instead of limiting itself to verbal statements,

"We have yet to receive a reply to a letter, written by [EU foreign policy chief ] Catherine Ashton on behalf of the sextet and handed over to Iran in July. Since Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi last visited Moscow, Iran has continued making provocative statements," Juppe said.

"In this connection the sextet must work out a serious and clear-cut approach: all of us are responsible for regional stability and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons," he said.

"The sextet has taken the first step. While imposing sanctions it proposed starting a dialogue on aiding Iran in promoting its civilian nuclear program and on Irans efforts to create an atmosphere of trust. The Iranian authorities must back these proposals with concrete action, not merely by words or meetings that have no content," Juppe said.

When asked about the prospect of relaxing visa procedures for Russian citizens, Juppe said that France wants short-term entry visa arrangements between Russia and Schengen zone countries to be abolished and hopes that talks to that effect will essentially be over this year.

"[French] Prime Minister Francois Fillon made a statement about the loosening of the visa regime at a meeting of the French-Russian intergovernmental commission lat year, and it has come into force already," Juppe said.

"France has decided to simplify to the utmost the formalities needed for obtaining visas in the spirit of our European commitments, including formalities for the issue of long-term visas to persons who have held Schengen visas," he said.


Filipino Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about prospects for Russian-Filipino cooperation in the military-technical sphere, as well possible cooperation on anti-terrorism, energy, investments and tourism.

Sudanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Atta Elmanan Bakhit has given an interview to Interfax during his visit to Moscow in which he speaks about a visit of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to Russia, bilateral Russian-Sudanese economic and military cooperation and describes sanctions in the global politics as "immoral and illegal".

Secretary General of the League of Arab States has given an interview with Interfax in the wake of his negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in which he speaks about the participation of Arab countries in the Astana process, Russia‘s political and military role in Syria, as well as prospects for resuming Syria‘s membership in the Arab League.

Bahraini Ambassador to Russia Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Saati has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the prolongation of the decision of OPEC and non-OPEC countries to freeze oil output, prospects of energy cooperation between Bahrain and Russia, bilateral military-technical cooperation and prospects for resuming diplomatic relations with Iran.

Following strikes of the U.S.-led coalition on pro-governmental forces in Syria, the coalitions spokesman Ryan Dillon has given a Skype interview to Interfaxs correspondent Ksenia Baygarova in which he speaks about if U.S. notified Russia in advance of upcoming strikes on pro-governmental forces in Syria, about how to avoid incidents in the future and about when al-Raqqa and Mosul will be liberated from terrorists.

Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has given an interview to Interfax correspondent Veronika Vishnyakova in which he speaks about his recent talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Pakistan-Russian interaction on Afghanistan, as well as his expectations from upcoming entry of Pakistan to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Austrian Ambassador to Russia Emil Brix has given an interview to Interfax foreign political desk chief Olga Golovanova on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of bilateral relations, in which he speaks about Austrias position on Ukraine in light of resolving the South Tyrol conflict, about the use of sanctions in international relations, which he considers unwise, about Austrias neutral status, as well as Austrian-Russian energy cooperation.


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