Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: did he ever leave?

Read more

DEBATE

The World This Week

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Travel chaos: Air France pilots take industrial action

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Christian Kastrop, Director of Policy Studies, OECD

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: UN Security Council unanimously passes resolution

Read more

ENCORE!

Author Kiran Desai on early success and the Booker Prize

Read more

Middle east

Syria’s Assad says France is ‘proxy state’ for Qatar, Saudi Arabia

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-20

France has become a “proxy state” for Qatar and Saudi Arabia, according to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who accused Paris of taking “petrodollars” from the two states in return for supporting the Syrian opposition.

"France has become a proxy state implementing Qatari policies. This is also what we see happening now between France and Saudi Arabia," Assad said in an interview with AFP.

"How can petrodollars make Western officials, particularly in France, sell their principles and sell the principles of the French Revolution in return for a few billion dollars?"

France is a strong backer of the Syrian opposition, along with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

France was also one of the first countries to recognise it and call for Assad to leave power.

Assad's government accuses the West and Gulf nations that back the rebels of exporting "terrorism" to Syria.

The Syrian leader, speaking to AFP on Sunday in Damascus, said French and EU policy in the Middle East had been led astray by the United States.

"Ever since 2001 and the terrorist attacks on New York, there has been no European policy-making to speak of," he said.

"In the West, there is only an American policy, which is implemented by some European countries."

He said France's policy meant there was little chance it stood to play a role in Syria in the near future.

"I don't think that France will play a role in the immediate future, unless it changes its policy completely and from its core and returns to the politically independent state it once was," he said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-01-20

  • SYRIA

    Syrian opposition threatens to boycott Geneva talks if Iran attends

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Growing fears for French teens en route to fight jihad in Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA - UK - FRANCE

    French firm to help UK destroy Syrian chemical weapons

    Read more

COMMENT(S)