Raffarin demands full details of Russian school siege

7th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 6 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said on Monday that Paris wanted to know the full details surrounding the tragic climax to the Russian school siege, while voicing solidarity with the country's plight.

PARIS, Sept 6 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said on Monday that Paris wanted to know the full details surrounding the tragic climax to the Russian school siege, while voicing solidarity with the country's plight.  

"We wish to express both our solidarity in the face of this terrorist act against Russia, but we also wish to have all the necessary information," Raffarin said during a debate on RTL radio.  

He was responding to the leader of the Socialist opposition, Francois Hollande, who had urged the government to demand a full explanation from Russia over the carnage.  

Raffarin's comments echoed an earlier call by the Dutch presidency of the European Union for fuller explanations about the tragedy - which drew a furious response from Moscow.  

Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Bot, whose country holds the six-month presidency, wrote to Moscow Monday in an attempt to defuse the row.  

The French prime minister also announced that France would send a major shipment of humanitarian supplies to help with the aftermath of the disaster.  

He added that Paris would continue to press Russia on human rights issues.  

"We call on Russia each time we meet to respect human rights... That is one of the aspects of our cooperation, and our solidarity is naturally balanced by such demands from our partners," he said.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government faced mounting criticism on Monday for failing to acknowledge their own responsibility in the deaths of at least 335 children and adults in the school siege in Beslan in North Ossetia.

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

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