Macron says ready for talk to bring peace back to Syria
15 Apr 2018, 23:53
French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said he was ready to talk to all, including Russia and Iran, to pave the way for inclusive political transition in the war-torn Syria.
"I say it from the beginning, to build lasting peace, one needs to dialogue with Iran, Russia and Turkey. France's policy is to talk with everyone. It's the condition to have peace," Macron told news channel BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news.
After the United States, France and Britain launched missile strikes on the country over an alleged chemical gas attack, the French president noted that Western top priority is preparing "a long-term political alternative which will allow a transition in a constitutional framework."
Asked if using military force would restore peace, Macron said that "France is the country that has been the most active in terms of diplomacy and humanitarian aid in recent months, and we came at a time when this strike was essential to give credibility to our community."
Defending France's participation in the joint air strikes targeting Syrian government's chemical capabilities, the 40-year-old head of state called the operation "a legitimate retaliatory act" after evidence proved that chemical gas attack was used in Douma on April 7 and which "could be attributed to" the Syrian government.
"Without declaring war against Bashar al-Assad, the joint strikes achieved their aims without leaving collateral casualties," confirmed Macron, adding that Damscus' chemical weapons capabilities have been destroyed.
"We have complete international legitimacy to act in this framework," he said.