France's Position on Syria
 and ISIS

Guigou says France should support Russian and UN efforts to reach an interim agreement while working on a solution with parties willing to accept a democratic change

The French parliament’s head of Foreign Affairs Committee, Elisabeth Guigou, has told al-Hayat: "To my knowledge, no Muslim state funds terrorists. Perhaps there is funding from individuals or associations, which is difficult to know or monitor, but according to our information, today there is no state funding ISIS.

 

“Did any state fund it in the past? I do not know, but now we know that all countries in the region are involved in the international coalition against ISIS because they are aware that it is a dangerous enemy of Arab countries first, where the largest number of terror victims of reside. ISIS targets Muslims more than Christians and Jews, though we have seen ISIS torturing Iraq's Christian minority, which left its homeland despite its historical presence.

 

“ISIS has targeted Yazidis too, but generally the largest number of victims are Muslims, and here we should mention millions of displaced people from Syria whom European countries are constantly reminded of by President Hollande”.


 

As for Syria, Guigou said: "The National Assembly was informed in 2013 of all the evidence that we had that Assad was using chemical weapons, and we knew where he launched his chemical rockets from. We wanted to stop this, but the United States backed down. The strike was legitimate, but unfortunately it did not take place because it would have led to a different balance of power on the ground, and this is very important, because the solution is not military in Syria – as the French president always says – but military intervention is a way to reach a political solution rejected by those fighters on the ground.

 

The only political solution in Syria – which is what we were looking for from the very beginning and I hope that we will reach – is that Syrians have better choices than choosing between Bashar al-Assad, who displaces more than half of the Syrian people and is responsible for the deaths of more than 200,000 more, and between ISIS. So we support the moderate opposition, but unfortunately it is divided and unable to unite, weakening itself in the process.

 

Now, in order to bring the Syrian people out from this humanitarian tragedy, we should support Russia's efforts and the efforts of the UN envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to reach an interim agreement, while keeping ISIS at bay and working on a solution with moderate parties in the opposition and the regime – those willing to accept a democratic change".


 

When asked whether Russia is ready to give up Assad, Guigou said: "I have no contact with the Russian President, however, a few days ago, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian Duma was in my office, and he said to me that there are no Russian illusions about the regime in Syria. But the situation requires an alternative solution that lasts until the Syrian people choose their regime freely.

 

“But now the situation cannot continue with the increasing number of refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, and the great burden on the two countries. Any solution also requires a reassurance to the Alawites, this minority also needs reassurance, and the whole country should be relieved of this disaster".

 

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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