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France’s Le Pen says 'blind West’ aiding Syrian war

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-01-08

France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen (pictured) has given a television interview to a state-linked Syrian television channel, lambasting Western powers for “blindly supporting” the country’s 22-month uprising, it emerged on Tuesday.

Leader of France’s far-right National Front (FN), Marine Le Pen has given a television interview to a channel owned by Bashar’s al-Assad cousin, condemning Western and Gulf powers for "aiding" the 22-month uprising against Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

Le Pen spoke to SAMA TV, which is part of Dounia TV, a conglomerate run by businessman and cousin of Bashar al-Assad, Rami Makhlouf, in a video that was uploaded to YouTube on January 2. The interview is the first accorded to a French politician since the start of the Syrian uprising.

Speaking of an “Islamist fundamentalist” takeover of the country, the far-right leader said from her office in Paris that the rebellion had been “in part aided by the blindness of Western countries”.

Le Pen said that Western powers were “doing in Syria exactly the same thing as they did in Libya, but secretly”. She said that by allegedly supporting Qatari and Saudi schemes to arm dissident militants in Syria, European leaders were “helping to fuel the civil war of which civilians are the first victims”.

‘Unforgivable’ Sharia

She also warned that the unenviable consequence of a successful revolution would be the implementation of Sharia law in Syria. “Sharia law aims to diminish the freedom of the individual and the people,” she said. “Instead of more rights, people – especially women – will have fewer rights.”

“Handing power to Islamist fundamentalists who impose Sharia law […] would be absolutely unforgivable,” she said.

Le Pen said she had denounced France’s intervention in Libya and was doing the same for Syria because she “defends the freedom, sovereignty and identity of all countries”.

She also condemned France’s “close links” to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “Both the [ruling] Socialist Party and the [opposition] UMP offer these countries a veritable red carpet,” she said, adding that political representatives were “constantly travelling” to the two Gulf states.“Qatar has played a role in every negative consequence of the Arab Spring,” she said. “This is a situation that seems to me very dangerous”.

She also denounced Turkey for trying to “gain regional leadership” amid the Syrian crisis, but said its interests were not as clear-cut as those of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Date created : 2013-01-08

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