Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 20th, 2017

France Wants Major Powers to Make ‘Proposals’ to Syrian Warring Parties

France Wants Major Powers to Make ‘Proposals’ to Syrian Warring Parties

PARIS - France wants major powers involved in the Syrian crisis to join a contact group that would make proposals to warring parties, in an effort to break a deadlock in political negotiations, the French foreign minister said.
Emmanuel Macron’s election victory has given Paris a chance to re-examine its policy on Syria. The change being proposed is to drop demands that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down as a pre-condition for talks, although French officials still insist he cannot be the long-term future for Syria. France now appears to be aligning its foreign policy with the U.S. priorities of fighting terrorism and seeking better ties with Russia, a move that it calculates could give it a role as a go-between between the two powers, especially on Syria. “This initiative presumes that we don’t set a pre-condition to the talks that Bashar al-Assad must leave,” Jean-Yves le Drian told CNews in an interview carried Wednesday on its website. That should encourage Russia to enter the process, he said. Le Drian gave no details on what new proposals might be offered, a potential format for the contact group or how it would affect existing peace efforts under the auspices of the United Nations, which have limped on for several years with no visible progress. (Reuters)