In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

France backs new Syria ‘Contact Group’: foreign ministry

Posted by seumasach on June 10, 2012

The crisis of european leadership has, if anything, intensified with Hollande’s accesion. Assuming he really intends to build bridges to the BRICS countries it is difficult to interpret the appointment of Fabius and the renewal of a hawkish line on Syria. Equally, the acceptance of this effectively Russian initiative with the proviso of the exclusion of Iran, a key player in any political solution, shows a contradictory stance. Perhaps the legislative elections will clarify the position: Hollande is constrained by his leftist base which is rabidly liberal imperialist and which has rallied in support for the “Syrian opposition” and in condemnation of Russia and China as supposed facilitators of war crimes in Syria.


8th June, 2012

France backs UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s bid to bring key powers into a contact group on the Syria crisis, but it opposes bringing Iran into the group, the foreign ministry said Friday.

“We are favourable to any initiative that can help put into operation the Annan plan,” foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

But he noted that Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had already stated two days ago that Iran, an ally of the regime led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, could in no way be involved in such a group.

Setting up a new contact group on Syria was not incompatible with the Friends of Syria group meeting on July 6 in Paris, said Valero.

That group seeks to co-ordinate Western and Arab efforts to stop the violence in Syria.

Annan is under pressure to revive his six-point peace plan, which the international community has accused Assad of flouting. A series of massacres of civilians have heightened international outrage over the conflict.

Annan’s proposal for a contact group however risks setting off new tensions over Syria.

The United States quickly made it known that it considered Iran to be a “spoiler” in the worsening Syria crisis.

Russia, Assad’s last major ally, has offered to host an international conference on the situation in Syria.

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