The French Ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler at the media briefing on May 3 in New Delhi, India (Photo/ ANI)
The French Ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler at the media briefing on May 3 in New Delhi, India (Photo/ ANI)

It's the end of a very long story: French ambassador hails Masood's listing

ANI | Updated: May 03, 2019 20:39 IST

New Delhi [India], May 3 (ANI): French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler on Friday hailed the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN stating that it is "solid proof" of the international community's strong support to India's fight against terrorism.
"It's very good news for world community and India as well. It's been a long process. We, along with our partners, have played a significant role...It was a very important political decision that was taken because for the first time the world reached a consensus. All members of UNSC reached consensus on listing Masood Azhar...This decision has very concrete consequences," he told the media here.
"This is solid proof of the international community's strong support to India's fight against terrorism," he said.
Ziegler's statement comes soon after China lifted its technical hold on a proposal to blacklist him under the Security Council's Sanctions Committee, paving the way for the designation. The UNSC's decision is largely being hailed as a diplomatic victory for India, which recently lost over 40 CRPF personnel after a JeM operative attacked their convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14.
"It's the end of a very long story. It started almost 18 years ago when in 2001 the UN decided to designate JeM right after the terrible Parliament attack. Right after, we supported the legitimate demand of India to sanction Masood as well. We were in a very odd situation where a terrorist group was sanctioned but its leader was not. For all of us it seemed very unfair and a bit absurd to be honest," he said, outlining how France had reinitiated Azhar's listing in 2016 and 2017 as well.
"Right after Pulwama (terror attack), it seemed obvious to us that we had to try again and we had to achieve the process of finally designating Masood as a terrorist. We also initiated the process of issuing a statement from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to condemn the attack, which is think was the first move and crucial political statement because for the first time there was a political consensus on condemning this attack and stating that the perpetrator of this attack be sanctioned," Ziegler stated.
The diplomat outlined France's efforts in getting the JeM chief listed as a global terrorist on the United Nation's ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List after the February 14 terror attack in India. "We did our best, we gathered as much support as possible, including what was really important, the support of all the European Union partners. This is the reason why we decided to list Azhar on our list. We had initiated the process of listing Azhar on our list to demonstrate the unity of the European Union," he stated.
The French Ambassador also underscored his country's decision to nationally sanction Azhar a couple of months ago. "We had initiated the process of his listing on the European Union list, a process which is about to succeed in some days," the diplomat added.
He outlined that the Azhar's listing was a very crucial decision in the global fight against terrorism, which is one of the cornerstones of France's strategic partnership with India, which includes fighting against terrorism by designating and sanctioning specific groups, fighting against their financing network, amongst other things.
"All states are bound now to freeze his assets, to block his access to the financial system, to ban him from entering, transiting through their territory, to ban them from providing any sort of military or arms assistance directly or indirectly," the diplomat reinforced. (ANI)