Report: Chirac wanted Israel to topple Assad

Published March 18th, 2007 - 09:42 GMT

Israel's Army Radio claimed on Sunday that French President Jacques Chirac pledged support for an Israeli strike on Syria during the the Israeli-Lebanon war in the summer of 2006. Chirac allegedly suggested that Israel topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime and viewed Syria as responsible for giving orders to Hizbullah to attack and for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a friend of Chirac.


The report suggested that France backed off of its calls for aggression against Syria after the government deemed its stance might lead to Syrian attacks on French troops. "President Chirac saw Syria as directly responsible for the attempt to undermine the Lebanese regime," former Israeli ambassador to France Nissim Zvilli told Israel's Army Radio in an interview.


Before the war started, Chirac warned Syria that the world will respond to any attempt to destabilise Lebanon. "Syria must understand that any act that encroaches upon the stability of Lebanon, be it through the shipment of weapons or assassinations, is an act that contradicts its standing in the international community, and will trigger a response from the international community," he said that time.

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