Thursday, 02 July, 2020


France convinced Trump to stay in Syria, says Macron

Chemical experts Syria mission in limbo Chemical experts Syria mission in limbo
Bennie Garza | 16 April, 2018, 23:05

"The president of the Republic said he wanted the dialogue between France and Russian Federation to continue and intensify in order to bring peace and stability to Syria", Macron's office said after the call, which came as the West ponders possible strikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.

"I ordered the French armed forces to intervene as part of an worldwide operation in coalition with the USA and the United Kingdom directed against the clandestine chemical arsenal of the Syrian regime".

The French strikes, involving 12 cruise missiles, fighter jets and warships, were Macron's first major military decision since taking office a year ago and was all but inevitable after the young president repeatedly said France would strike if a fatal chemical attack took place in Syria.

Mr Macron maintained that he "never said" either the United States or France would stay engaged long-term in Syria in a military sense - hours after saying in a live Sunday interview that he had managed to change Mr Trump's mind on withdrawing troops.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that he persuaded Trump to leave U.S. troops in Syria.

European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "The worldwide community has the responsibility to identify and hold accountable those responsible of any attack with chemical weapons. We convinced him to remain", he said.

On Friday, Trump said that the United States is "prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents".

Macron, speaking on French television BFM and online site Mediapart, said "we are preparing a political solution" for Syria, a day after France joined the United States and Britain in launching strikes.

She added that Washington was "determined to completely crush" the Islamic State group in the country "and create the conditions that will prevent its return". There are no changes to his planned trip to Russian Federation next month, he said.

Macron, criticised by the far-left and far-right and part of the conservatives over the attacks, said France, Britain and the United States had "complete global legitimacy to act".

Macron added that he was in daily contact with US President Donald Trump and that they would decide on their response "at a time of our choosing, when we judge it to be the most useful and the most effective".

It comes after Putin warned there would be "consequences" for the strikes, which targeted chemical weapons facilities.

A day after France joined the United States and Britain in launching aggression on Syria, Macron insisted the intervention was "legitimate" and urged worldwide powers to push for a diplomatic solution to the seven-year war.

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