French FM affirms support to UN envoy in Iraq

PARIS, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has given a strong message of support to the UN Special Envoy in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, particularly regarding efforts to end the current crisis in Iraq and promote democratic and inclusive dialogue there, Le Drian’s press office said.

The French Foreign Minister spoke by phone with the UN Envoy late Tuesday and Le Drian “reiterated the full support of France for the action of the Special Representative” and her team in the UNAMI (UN Assistance Mission in Iraq).

Hundreds of people have been shot dead and thousands injured or arrested in heavy-handed police repression of demonstrations in Baghdad and other cities, including most recently in Nassiriya.

France already condemned this week what it said was “excessive and disproportionate use of violence” by security forces and it called for restraint on all sides.

“The way out of the crisis which is confronting Iraq must pass through a democratic and inclusive dialogue which we call all parties to take part in,” the Foreign Minister’s press office indicated in its statement.

Le Drian reiterated his government’s condemnation of excessive violence in the conversation with the UN Envoy and he again called for “strong and rapid measures” by the Iraqi authorities to meet the urgency of the current situation.

He also repeated France’s availability to help out with the Iraqi situation, either through the UN Security Council or other means.

Source: Kuwait News Agency