Paris, February 18, 2008
France strongly condemns last night’s violence in Belgrade against the United States Embassy and several diplomatic missions as well as journalists covering the demonstration organized by the authorities. We extend our sympathy to the authorities of the United States, part of whose embassy was set on fire, and the authorities of Croatia, Turkey, Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina whose embassies were also attacked.
Like the European Union in the past few days, notably on Sunday after the first incidents against Slovenia’s Embassy, and the UN Security Council last night, we remind the Serbian authorities of the obligations incumbent on them with regard to the protection of diplomatic buildings, in accordance with the Vienna Convention. We call on them to:
implement all necessary measures to restore public order and ensure the security of diplomatic missions and their personnel as well as all foreign nationals;
pursue and punish the perpetrators of these acts;
and refrain from any action or statement, as there have been in the past few days, including from members of the government, that could be construed as incitement to violence. Such irresponsible remarks are unacceptable. We have taken due note on the other hand of the appeals for calm made by certain political leaders in Serbia./.