Libya – Syria
Paris, March 30, 2011
Q. – Isn’t arming the rebels wishful thinking? How do you disarm them afterwards, and how do you also avoid the Russian and Chinese vetoes?
THE MINISTER – No decision has been taken to this effect: it’s merely been said that we’ll respect to the letter UNSCR 1970 and UNSCR 1973, which envisage an embargo on arms bound for what’s called the “Jamahiriya” – that is, the Libyan regime.
Q. – An American admiral said recently that the Libyan rebels could be infiltrated by al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. Can you confirm this?
THE MINISTER – I can’t confirm hypotheses. We’re working with the National Transitional Council, which is made up of responsible figures, I think. They’ve also just published a “Charter for the new Libya”, which sets out certain principles that we fully approve of, because they’re principles of commitment to democracy which have nothing to do with religious fundamentalism.
Q. – I imagine you listened to Bashar al-Assad’s speech today. Following this very inflexible speech, what future do you see for Syria?
THE MINISTER – It was a very general speech; I’m not sure it really responds to the expectations – or I’d even say the anger – of the Syrian people. Today we need concrete proposals which respond to that people’s aspirations. We appeal strongly to the Syrian authorities to move in this direction.
Likewise, we’ve utterly condemned the use of violence against public demonstrations. It’s no longer acceptable, wherever it takes place.
Governments must stop using weapons against their own populations when they express themselves to demand democratic freedoms.
Q. – Can Bashar al-Assad fear the same treatment as that being inflicted on Gaddafi today?
THE MINISTER – Let’s not confuse things: each situation is obviously specific. (…)./.