Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

France

France urges UN to classify al-Nusra as terrorist group

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-09

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has called on the UN to classify Syria’s al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organisation in order to differentiate the Islamist group from other opposition forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius pressed the United Nations on Thursday to blacklist Syria’s al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organisation, in an effort to set the militant Islamist group apart from other more moderate opposition forces in the country.

“In order to avoid any ambiguity, we suggest that the al-Nusra Front, which is opposed to [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad but is also a branch of al Qaeda, be classified as a ‘terrorist organisation on the UN level,’” the French foreign minister stated in an interview with French daily Le Monde.

Fabius also said that France wanted to increase its support of Syria’s opposition organisation, the Syrian National Coalition, highlighting that it needed to “grow, unify and clearly guarantee that the rights of all communities be respected in the event of a regime change”.

The UN Security Council has already looked informally at whether to impose sanctions on al-Nusra after it swore allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri last month. The US State Department officially designated it a terrorist organisation in December.

The militant Islamist element of the Syrian conflict poses a quandary for Western powers that favour Assad’s overthrow, but are also alarmed by Sunni Muslim jihadi fighters whose fiercely anti-Shiite ideology has fuelled sectarian tensions in the Middle East.

Fabius said France still hoped for a political solution and backed plans for an international conference including Russia and the United States that would pick up from a meeting in Geneva in June 2012 which failed to resolve the crisis.

The European Union should keep exploring how to ease its arms embargo on Syria without risking weapons reaching the wrong hands, Fabius said, while the West should decide how respond if it is confirmed that Assad’s army is using chemical weapons.

“We must move and move fast,” he said. “If we don’t halt this conflict, we’re looking at the country imploding.”

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-05-09

  • SYRIA

    Syria's al Nusra militants vow allegiance to al Qaeda

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrians march in support of Jabhat al-Nusra militants

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    The rise of Syria’s ‘third army’, Jabhat al-Nusra

    Read more

COMMENT(S)