Alain Juppé on setting up humanitarian corridors in Syria

Interview given by Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to “France Inter” (excerpts)

Paris, 24 November 2011

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SYRIA/HUMANITARIAN CORRIDORS/SAFE ZONES

THE MINISTER – The Syrian National Council told me: “You’ve got to propose humanitarian corridors because there’s a humanitarian problem today with a shortage of absolutely essential products.” This is why, following this meeting, I referred the matter to our partners at the United Nations. I talked to Hillary Clinton about it; we’re talking to the Arab League today to see how we can set up these humanitarian corridors.

Q. – Meaning safe zones?

THE MINISTER – Meaning – as we did, moreover, in Libya – corridors where the humanitarian organizations – the Red Cross, for example – can send medical products.

This presupposes two possible scenarios. Firstly, that the international community, the United Nations and Arab League can get the regime to authorize the humanitarian corridors, as has been done elsewhere. If this didn’t happen, we’d have to envisage other solutions.

Q. – Other solutions? So, military ones?

THE MINISTER – It’s possible to protect humanitarian convoys – but we haven’t reached that stage.

Q. – Protect them militarily?

THE MINISTER – Of course, by means of international observers, as happened in Libya. I spent 48 hours in Turkey. I saw all the Turkish leaders – the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister – and there was never any question of military options in Syria.

Q. – No military options but possible military capabilities which would be under international flag, under UN flag, with use of force…

THE MINISTER – For us, obviously, no intervention – even a humanitarian one – is possible without an international mandate. (…)./.

Published on 25/11/2011

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