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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Cairo Peace Summit – Speech by the Minister for Europe and International Affairs Catherine Colonna (Cairo, 21 Oct. 2023)


Your Royal Highnesses,

Heads of State and Authorities,


Your Excellencies,

On 7 October, Israel suffered an enormous terrorist assault, led by Hamas, a terrorist group which goals to destroy the State of Israel and sow hatred and chaos. Hamas doesn’t search to understand the aspirations of the Palestinians. Different terrorist teams have claimed accountability for actions in help of them. The dimensions of the massacres and atrocities dedicated leaves little doubt that this was a premeditated, orchestrated, deliberate assault. It was an assault of extreme brutality, savagery and barbarity.

France too was affected. Thus far, 30 of my fellow residents have been killed and 7 extra stay lacking or are being held hostage.

I wish to urgently reiterate our name for the speedy and unconditional launch of all hostages.

Nothing can ever justify terrorism, not ever.

Within the face of terrorism, Israel has a proper to defend itself in order that this by no means occurs once more.

For its response to be robust, it should be honest.

To be honest, it should adhere to worldwide regulation, as all of us recall, as a result of the regulation applies to all of us.

Below all circumstances, our guiding political, ethical and moral ideas should be met. That is an crucial for all of us.

The President of the French Republic reminded the Israeli Prime Minister of that, and can proceed to take action. As will I.

Israel’s professional response to this terrorist assault should due to this fact defend civilian populations underneath humanitarian regulation, as a result of civilians should not pay for the crimes dedicated by terrorist teams, which don’t symbolize them.

On that time, we should be very clear. The terrorists of Hamas don’t symbolize the Palestinian individuals or the Palestinian trigger. This should be even additional reiterated within the present extremely unstable scenario, the place sure stakeholders are searching for to create confusion. The strongest potential condemnation of the actions of Hamas is the easiest way for the voice of the Palestinians to be heard.

France condemns the actions of Hamas, however helps the rights of the Palestinians. It has at all times finished so, and can proceed to take action, much more so right this moment. It’s going to additionally proceed to bolster the Palestinian Authority.

Within the face of this humanitarian disaster inflicted upon the civilian inhabitants of Gaza, final Sunday, right here in Egypt, I introduced an additional €10 million, to be despatched through United Nations businesses (UNRWA, WFP), the ICRC and NGOs. This may allow important items, water, meals, medication, and so on. to be supplied. We’re ready to extend this help, and we now have simply finished in order the President of the French Republic has simply introduced an additional €10 million and a humanitarian aid aircraft.

And this help should be urgently despatched to those populations and displaced individuals. France due to this fact welcomes the settlement to that finish and welcomes the work that went into reaching it, together with that of Egypt and the United Nations.

This settlement should be urgently applied, and long-term help should be supplied. This morning, a primary step was taken, which all of us applauded, however it should be adopted by additional steps over the long run.

The distribution of help to civilian populations, beginning with probably the most susceptible, requires a humanitarian truce, which may result in a ceasefire.

Lastly, these wishing to depart Gaza should be allowed to take action unimpeded. I’ve made this request for our employees, our French nationals and their households.

This can be a humanitarian emergency, however the motive we’re all right here right this moment is that we all know that a greater response should be supplied to the Palestinians’ professional aspirations.

The Palestinians wish to dwell with dignity. Removed from the terrorist atrocities of Hamas, they wish to dwell in peace with the Israelis, not towards them, however alongside them.

Now we have a joint accountability to redraw a political horizon, which may meet this aspiration.

France’s place stays the identical, and we strongly reiterate it as soon as once more right this moment: there should be safety for Israel, and a State for Palestinians. These two circumstances are inseparable.

The one viable answer is a two-State answer, dwelling in peace and safety alongside one another.

It’s our accountability to construct consensus alongside these traces in order to lastly finish this scourge within the Center East.

However above all, within the coming days, it’s essential we keep away from escalation, which may result in conflagration within the area. Powers of which all of us listed here are conscious have chosen to fan the flames to attempt to conceal their crimes, their wars, their hegemonic agenda, and to weaken international locations within the area and unfold chaos.

It’s crucial that we stand united towards them.

We should keep away from their entice.

And shoulder this collective accountability to discover a approach again to peace.


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