Macron tells Putin he wants to 'intensify' Syria dialogue
17 April, 2018, 20:38 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
He added he would decide on what action to take once all the information has been verified.
French and USA officials were "working very closely, and we will have decisions to take, at the time we choose, when we consider it most useful and most effective".
"We have not declared war on the regime of Bashar Al Assad", the 40-year-old centrist said in a combative TV interview.
Macron's comments were widely interpreted as moving France closer to joining the United States in a possible military strike despite critics' worries about a reprise of France's participation in a 2011 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation intervention in Libya, which helped bring down ruler Moammar Gadhafi but threw Libya into deeper chaos. He added it would have an "utterly destructive impact on the Syrian settlement".
Playing up his credibility, he ordered the French armed forces to intervene on Saturday in coordination with American and British forces to strike several Syrian targets, which were alleged by the Western powers as chemical arsenal of the Syrian government.
"France will not allow any escalation that could harm the stability of the region as a whole", he said Thursday, "but we can't let regimes think they can do everything they want, including the worst things that violate worldwide law".
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an global chemical weapons watchdog organization said Thursday that its team is en route to Syria and will begin work Saturday to investigate the attack.
PARIS-French President Emmanuel Macron sharpened his stance Thursday on possible intervention in Syria, claiming that France has "proof" of a chemical attack last week and insisting that regimes must be held accountable for their abuses.
"Ten days ago, Donald Trump said that the United States had a vocation to disengage and we convinced him that we had to stay in the long term, we also convinced him to limit strikes to chemical facilities", Macron said during a two-hour interview to French media outlets RMC, BFMTV and Mediapart to mark his 1st year in office.
Asked to comment on possible US strikes, Peskov said "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria".
"The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed", he said.
Pointing to the overnight strike, another advisor to Macron said: "This is proof today that the political line he drew at the start of his mandate was meant to be respected".
Macron said one of his aims in Syria was to "remove the regime's chemical attack capabilities", but added that he wanted to avoid "an escalation".
Russian Federation has military forces, including air defenses, in several areas of Syria to support Assad in his long war against anti-government opposition forces.
"We can not tolerate the recurring use of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security", a statement from the Elysee presidential office said.
Mrs Merkel said in Berlin: "Germany will not take part in possible military action - I want to make clear again that there are no decisions - but we see, and support this, that everything is being done to send a signal that this use of chemical weapons is not acceptable".
He added that he told Putin that Russian Federation was complicit in the use of chemical weapons by Syria's Assad.
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Officials said the activity had been under observation for "some time " and was not directly related to missile strikes on Syria. Director Howard Marshall said the alert underscores the United States' commitment to fighting malicious cyber activity.
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