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French FM: "We cannot build peace with Assad"


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a conference of Italian ambassadors in Rome, Italy July 24, 2017
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a conference of Italian ambassadors in Rome, Italy July 24, 2017


FRANCE,  Radio Luxembourg,  01 September 2017-- France’s foreign minister said on Friday he wanted major powers to agree on a transition plan that would be imposed on Syrians, but ruled out any role for the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who he said had “murdered” part of his population, Reuters reported.

"We cannot build peace with Assad," Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on France's RTL radio.

"He cannot be the solution," said Mr Le Drian, who was defence minister in the former Socialist government.

"The solution is to establish a timeline for political transition that can lead to a new constitution and elections, and this transition cannot happen with Bashar Al Assad."

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said his country is pushing for a diplomatic initiative for peacebuilding in Syria, The Associated Press reported.

Following a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Paris, Macron said Friday his proposal of a new international contact group on Syria would include Lebanon and other countries of the region that receive Syrian refugees.

He also proposed a summit next year about the return of Syrian refugees to their country, a "key issue" for the stabilization of the region.

For six years, as many as 1.5 million Syrians have poured into Lebanon, equal to around a quarter of its population.

Some political leaders say Lebanon has lost patience with the social and financial burden of the refugee crisis.

President Macron said Syrians currently living outside their country will have to play a "major role" in the future process of political transition in Syria.

The Iranian regime and its proxy Hezbollah have been the main supporter of the Syrian dictator in its war against the Syrian people.

During a televised address on August 20, the Syrian dictator recently said: "Their direct support -- politically, economically, and militarily -- has made possible bigger advances on the battlefield”.

The Iranian regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has repeatedly reaffirmed his support for Syrian dictator by providing direct military, financial and political support.