France, Jordan call on Syrian rebels to organise
French President Francois Hollande said the Syrian opposition must “clarify” its ties with extremists in Syria as he urged support for the rebels during a meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah in Amman on Sunday, a Royal Court statement said.
He was speaking before media representatives after a one-on-one meeting with King Abdullah, followed by an expanded meeting attended by HRH Prince Feisal and officials from both sides.
His Majesty said in his remarks that Jordan shares with France “the same views regarding the Syrian crisis”, voicing appreciation for the European country’s assistance to the Kingdom to overcome the challenges posed by the Syrian conflict and its repercussions.
He said Jordan is looking forward to seeing the world respond to the call made by Paris to extend a helping hand to the Kingdom to cope with the deepening refugee crisis.
The King asserted that both Jordan and France “believe that the longer the conflict in Syria stretches, the more gross repercussions it will have in the long run, so we both strive to reach a comprehensive political transition in Syria that engages everyone,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.
Hosting more than half-a-million refugees puts enormous pressure on basic services, particularly in northern Jordan, the King said, lauding France’s support since the beginning of the crisis, when it deployed a military hospital in the Zaatari Refugee Camp.
The French president praised Jordan’s efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and its humanitarian role as a refugee host country.
Speaking about the Friends of Syria meeting that concluded in Doha on Sunday, Hollande said: “I came to Jordan to extend the ideas that were developed in Doha — we want to help in all possible ways; materiel and economic, but also military.”
“We want the opposition to distance itself from extremist groups who want to create chaos in Syria and are being used by the Syrian regime to prevent a political transition,” Hollande added.
He urged the international community to assist Jordan, which has so far received more than 560,000 Syrians.
“We must do everything to help. France has provided 100 million euros in humanitarian aid. And we want to expand further to meet the challenges,” he said.
By Gaelle Sundelin