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Hollande calls for united Europe on Syria action

© US Department of Defense

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-09-03

French President François Hollande said on Tuesday that he was “determined” to deliver a tough response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, while calling for a “large coalition” including the United States, Europe and Arab states.

French President François Hollande called on Europe Tuesday to unite in response to the Syria crisis, ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the weekend.

"Europe must unite on this issue. It will do so, each with its own responsibility. France will assume its own," Hollande said during a joint press conference with German President Joachim Gauck.

Hollande said that if the US Congress failed to approve intervention, France would not go it alone, insisting that a “large coalition”, including the United States, Europe and Arab states, would be necessary to deliver the appropriate response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

The French president added that if the Congress votes no, France “will take up its responsibilities by supporting the democratic opposition (in Syria) in such a way that a response is provided.”

Saying that he would address the French public on the issue when he has “all the elements that can form the foundation of my decision”, he noted that France was ready to take “all measures” against the Damascus regime.

His “determination” to act was reinforced, he said, by an interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad published in French daily Le Figaro on Tuesday, in which the Syrian leader warned of “consequences” for France if it went ahead with military intervention.

Date created : 2013-09-03

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