French FM Aligns With United States on Need for Political Solution in Syria

Published August 30th, 2018 - 10:24 GMT
(AFP/ AMEER ALHALBI)
(AFP/ AMEER ALHALBI)

France aligns itself with the United States in the bid to find a political solution in Syria, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday.

"We have a common stance with the United States that there must be some reassuring measures to restore peace in Syria and to withdraw foreign forces, in order to introduce constitutional reforms allowing all Syrians, including asylum-seekers, to participate," Le Drian said in a speech as part of the 26th Ambassadors' Conference, which opened in Paris on Monday.

"I hope that this dialogue remains the basis for a broader platform, including with Russia and Turkey," he added. 

"As for our relations with Russia, some of our partners view that country as an enemy, and they have reasons for this, but France is not seeking to isolate or weaken Russia. In return, we expect respect and cooperation," he said.

France is "not ready to pay" for European countries that do not respect the "fundamental principles" of the EU, Le Drian warned ahead of European elections to be held next May.

"We are not prepared to pay for this Europe, it must be made clear," Le Drian said, referring to Poland and Hungary.

"Each member state is free to elect the leaders it wants, but our vision of the EU as the primary circle of alliances and values is not compatible with governments that do not respect its fundamental principles and do not feel bound by community solidarity," he said.

"Basically, they have a utilitarian approach of the Union in which they would choose only what interests them and in the first place the redistribution of money."

As for the issue of accepting migrants, he said he hoped that a common position would be outlined with Germany before the Salzburg summit planned in September.

"We want to be able to reach a Franco-German position before the Salzburg summit on Sept. 20 so as not to leave this subject to the populists, the illusionist merchants and because we know that the Franco-German relationship is the driving force behind the European recovery," Le Drian concluded.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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