Vedrine Questions Bashar’s Staying Power

Published June 14th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

French foreign minister Hubert Vedrine on Wednesday questioned whether Bashar Assad, son and heir apparent of the late Syrian president Hafez Assad, would be able to "exercise power in the long term." 

Vedrine said Bashar will probably be named to succeed his father, who ruled Syria for 30 years, but "the question that presents itself is whether he will be able to exercise power in the long term," said government spokesman Daniel Vaillant. 

He said the French minister's comments were made to the rest of the cabinet in a discussion of the international situation. 

Vedrine also questioned whether "the hoped for changes will be possible under his authority," noting the uncertainty over the resumption of peace talks with Israel, the spokesman said – PARIS (AFP) 



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