Daily press briefing statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson.
Q - The Sudanese vice president will be received by the Arab Press Club. We’ve heard that NATO may send troops to Darfur. Is France for or against ?
I haven’t heard anything about NATO troops being sent to Sudan. The hypothesis of NATO support is one that’s already been raised in the past. Our position on this type of question is quite simple : it’s that we must first ask the opinion of the main parties concerned, i.e., the Africans, and see if that’s something that they find appropriate and desirable. But for now, the question is being asked mainly of the UN and, as I said before, the EU has already intervened in Darfur, which should be taken into consideration.
Q - You said that the modalities have to be specified in order to find out how France will participate. What do you mean by modalities ? Can we, in your opinion, impose an international UN peacekeeping force on Sudan if the Sudanese government continues to reject this change ?
With respect to your first point, there are many modalities to define : the mandate, the timetable, the size of such a force, the troops and the financial implications, because it’s an operation that is likely to be quite substantial, with consequences for the countries that finance UN peacekeeping operations. Such an operation won’t necessarily be easy to put in place.
As for your second question, what’s important is what the AU will say at the Peace and Security Council. That will take into account the dimension you raised, i.e., the Sudanese dimension. Then it will be up to the UN to decide.