No solution to Syria crisis without Assad: French lawmaker
A French legislator says there will be no solution to the four-and-a-half-year crisis in Syria in the absence of President Bashar al-Assad.
Opposition lawmaker, Jean-Frederic Poisson, who is in Syria heading a delegation of French legislators, made the remark on Tuesday after meeting with Syria’s Parliament Speaker Jihad al-Laham.
“The settlement of the Syrian political situation necessarily requires a dialog with the Syrian president who is in place and is elected by the Syrian people,” Poisson from the Christian Democratic Party said, adding, “It is not for foreign countries to decide who must lead Syria, it is for the Syrians to decide.”
Laham noted that Syria’s sovereignty and independence should be maintained by the Syrian government, emphasizing that foreign states do not have the right to interfere in Syria’s affairs and “support the opposition with arms and through media and financing, because this would be a violation of the international law and the national laws.”
Poisson further stressed that he would explain to people in France that there are “other policies and alliances that could meet our interests.”
He also expressed hope that the French government would re-open its embassy in Damascus.
The French delegation is expected to meet with President Assad on Wednesday. Poisson also paid another visit to the Syrian capital in July and met with President Assad.
France is among the Western countries supporting the militants fighting against the Syrian government. It closed its embassy in 2012 to express opposition to the government of President Assad.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The crisis has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the UN.