François Hollande to back a Syrian opposition government
Tuesday 28 August 2012
The French President François Hollande yesterday called on Syria's opposition to form a provisional government, saying France would recognise it once such a government is formed.
The announcement from Hollande, in a speech to France's ambassadors, amounts to an attempt to ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime amid escalating bloodshed in Syria.
Syria's opposition remains badly fragmented, and it is far from clear whether such a provisional government could be formed anytime soon. But Hollande's statement, believed to be the first of its kind, appeared aimed to give an impetus to the creation of such a government.
"France asks the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government – inclusive and representative – that can become the legitimate representative of the new Syria," the French leader said.
"We are including our Arab partners to accelerate this step," he told hundreds of diplomats and dignitaries at the presidential palace. "France will recognise the provisional government of Syria once it is formed."
Hollande also took issue with Russian and Chinese reticence about reaching tougher language against Assad's regime, saying "their attitude weakens our ability to carry out the mandate conferred on us by the UN charter".
Syria's opposition has been plagued by divisions and infighting since the start of the uprising last year, and a formation of a transitional government is fraught with difficulties.
Abdelbaset Sieda, the leader of the main umbrella opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said recently that the group was making plans and consultations for a transitional government. However, several other opposition groups are known to be making similar plans, including a new opposition alliance headed by veteran opposition figure Haitham Maleh.
The call came amid continued fighting in the country. In Damascus, a Syrian military helicopter caught fire and crashed after it was apparently hit during fighting between government forces and rebels, an activist group said. State media confirmed the crash.
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...