Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

French President Hollande tones down war rhetoric against Syria

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:42AM GMT

French President Francois Hollande has said everything must be done to seek a political solution to the Syria case, contradicting earlier posturing by Paris calling for military action against the Arab country.

Hollande made the remarks on Thursday after a meeting with the head of the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Ahmad al-Jarba, in Paris.

The French President called on the world powers to halt “the escalating violence” in Syria.

"All efforts must be made for a political solution but this will only come… if the international community is capable of stopping the escalating violence of which the chemical weapons attack is just an illustration," Hollande said.

The French president, however, reiterated that Paris would give “all its aid, all its political backing and also humanitarian and medical aid" to Syria’s opposition group.

France together with the US and Britain have called for military action against Syria over accusations that the Syrian government was behind the recent chemical attack near the capital, Damascus.

The call for military strike intensified after the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed on August 21 that hundreds had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar. Syria has categorically rejected the claim.

On Wednesday, former French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said that military action was an “appropriate solution” to the crisis in Syria.

De Villepin, who is known for his speech in 2003 at the UN in opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq, also said that a military action against Syria would delay “any political, diplomatic settlement.”


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