“We hope that there are French among them,” reacts Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna

Israel announced that it had given the green light overnight to an agreement with Hamas for the release of 50 hostages, against Palestinian prisoners and a truce in the fighting. “A moment of real hope”, judge on France Inter Catherine Colonna.



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Catherine Colonna, guest of France Inter on Wednesday November 22.  (FRANCE INTER / RADIOFRANCE)

“We hope there are French people among them”, reacts Wednesday November 22 on France Inter, Catherine Colonna, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs. Israel has given the green light to an agreement with Hamas providing for the release of 50 hostages in exchange for a four-day truce.

“We must welcome this agreement. It is a moment of real hope, it is the first time that we are so close to effective releases”, adds the minister. The minister recalls that “We have eight compatriots of whom we have no news, some of whom are certain to be hostages. For some people, “We had proof of life.” Catherine Colonna specifies that “for others”the Quai d’Orsay “had no news”. “We think they are hostages”she says.

The White House has already specified that three American nationals, including a child, are among the hostages who must be released by Hamas. But Paris cannot for its part announce the number of French hostages who will be released, “out of caution”says Catherine Colonna, “because each party must keep its part of the contract, because nothing must hinder what is planned, because it must be implemented”. “We hope that there will be French people, she repeats, we are working on it and I hope that tomorrow I will be able to say: yes, there were French people.”

Families of French hostages “are constantly informed” of the evolution of the situation “via Paris, via my services, via the French consulate general”, specifies the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Catherine Colonna greets their “dignity” in front of “their terrible suffering”. She emphasizes that these families “are in cruel uncertainty”. The Minister of Foreign Affairs continues: “This cruelty must stop, the releases must follow.”

During negotiations, “Hamas assured that it could gather all the hostages”underlines the minister. “Some were taken by him, others by Islamic Jihad, others perhaps could have been dispersed. So, the agreement is made on the basis of negotiations between Qatar and the stakeholders that are Hamas and its various groups, both political and military, in order to allow the exit of all the hostages”she explains.

Catherine Colonna assures that France “has played an active role since day one” and that “we are in contact with those who negotiate.” The head of French diplomacy “particularly welcomes the work of Qatar, Israel and the United States”. The Minister of Foreign Affairs calls for “release of all hostages” and this is the reason why Paris “asks that the truce be lasting”.

The truce resulting from the agreement between Israel and Hamas “must begin,” says Qatar, “within 24 hours, that is to say perhaps today, which allows us to hope for either a release at the end of the day, or more likely tomorrow of a first group “Catherine Colonna cautiously advances this Wednesday on France Inter. “We very much hope, we are working on it, that French people will be in this first group of people released.”

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