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Syria opposition praises France’s anti-Assad stance

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Syrian opposition leader, Khaled Khoja praising France anti-Assad position
Syrian opposition leader, Khaled Khoja praising France anti-Assad position
AFP - 1 March 2015 - Syria’s exiled opposition praised France on Sunday for maintaining its "exemplary" opposition to Bashar al-Assad after a group of French lawmakers made a controversial visit to Damascus this week.
"The position of France has always been exemplary, and your country has consistently held to the side of the Syrian people against any attempt to rehabilitate the regime in Damascus under false pretenses," the group’s leader, Khaled Khoja, wrote in a letter to the French government.
His letter followed an unofficial trip by French lawmakers to the Syrian capital last week, during which they met with Assad and other senior officials.
Khoja said such a policy would back-fire.
"Those who argue they should cooperate with the Syrian regime to fight terrorism will only find the phenomenon worsening," he wrote in the letter, addressed to French President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Manuel Valls, and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
"The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces warmly welcomes the firm position expressed by France regarding the cause of the Syrian people and its aspiration to form a civil democratic state.
"This aspiration absolutely requires the departure of the dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad," the letter said.
The lawmakers’ visit was strongly condemned by Hollande and Valls, who described Assad as a "dictator" and "a butcher".

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