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Publié le August 6, 2013
Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, following his meeting with Mr Ahmad al-Assi al-Jarba, President of the Syrian National Coalition
Paris, July 24, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, I welcomed here in Paris the President of the Syrian National Coalition, which for us is the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people. We know the situation Syria is in today, after so many months of bloodshed, 100,000 people killed and millions of displaced people and refugees.

We have two goals. The first is to support the coalition, with the desire for it to bring together all Syria’s democratic forces. We have a second goal: to continue exerting political, military pressure. It is the Coalition and its army’s responsibility to make Geneva 2 succeed. This is why we would like to back, support the Coalition in all the contacts it can get, in order to give it the best possible chance of attending, in the best conditions, the conference which will finally settle the issue of Syria’s future politically.

France is at the Coalition’s side and is mobilizing herself at the political and humanitarian levels to lend the people the crucial support. We are working at European level to adopt a common position, particularly on the embargo, and we are also working with the Americans and all the countries which are friends with Syria, particularly the Arab countries.

That is the purpose of our meeting today. Let me remind you that France was the first country to recognize the legitimacy of the Coalition and that she will always be at its side by repeating, as often as necessary, that this Coalition is fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime and has nothing to do with the extremist groups who are hijacking the situation in Syria to assert interests other than those of the Syrian people./.