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THE DEBATE

Breakthrough In Pyongyang? Kim promises to visit Seoul and dismantle nuclear sites

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MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Rapper I-NZ's 'This is Iraq': When music gets political

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FOCUS

Even in Kenya, exiled Burundians fear for their lives

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ENCORE!

Film show: 'The Sisters Brothers' and 'Leave No Trace'

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IN THE PRESS

Stormy Daniels's X-rated book attacks Trump's presidency - and manhood

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PERSPECTIVE

Polar explorer Sebastian Copeland on the 'urgency' of climate change awareness

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BUSINESS DAILY

US-China trade war deepens as Beijing calls for global support

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EYE ON AFRICA

Amnesty warns of 'horrific' violence in Cameroon's anglophone regions

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MEDIAWATCH

Maduro: Let them eat steak

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THE INTERVIEW

An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

Latest update : 2016-05-16

'US, Israel favour status quo in Syria', dissident Yassin al-Haj Saleh claims

Yassin al-Haj Saleh is a leading Syrian intellectual and one of the keenest observers of the Assad regime. He was jailed for 16 years under Hafez al-Assad and in 2013, he was forced into exile by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, while his wife and brother were kidnapped and are still missing. Several of his articles, written between 2011 and 2015, have now been published in a book in French entitled "The Syrian question".

Yassin al-Haj Saleh claims that the Syrian opposition was about to take Damascus in 2013 but was pressured by the US and the Saudis not to do so.

He calls the US-Russia deal struck over Syria's chemical weapons in 2013 "a big betrayal of the Syrian people".

Finally, he accuses the US and Israel of favouring the status quo in Syria. "The Americans and the Israelis either want Bashar al-Assad to stay in power, or to engineer things in a way that they take him out just to save everything else".

"Everything will stay as it was before, only maybe Bashar al-Assad [will go] with his millions to Panama or Switzerland or I don’t know where to enjoy the rest of his life", he told FRANCE 24's Marc Perelman.

By Marc PERELMAN

Archives

2018-09-17 The F24 Interview

Venezuela's exodus: How long can Latin America cope?

Although the Venezuelan migrant crisis was initially met with compassion in neighbouring countries, as the flow continued, tensions over the migrants grew and some neighbours...

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2018-09-17 The F24 Interview

Former ECB head Trichet: 'We avoided another Great Depression in 2008'

Ten years ago, the financial world was rocked by the collapse of a Wall Street giant. Lehman Brothers' spectacular bankruptcy sparked a global market sell-off, and was seen by...

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2018-09-17 The F24 Interview

Ahed Tamimi: ‘Any Palestinian starts resisting Israeli occupation from birth’

Almost two months after her release from an Israeli jail, 17-year-old Palestinian protest-icon Ahed Tamimi has granted an interview to FRANCE 24. Tamimi was speaking during a...

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2018-09-17 The F24 Interview

Saudi crown prince 'not well advised', former Qatari PM tells FRANCE 24

Former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani granted a 30-minute interview to FRANCE 24. He discussed relations with Saudi Arabia as well as the ongoing Gulf crisis,...

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2018-09-13 The F24 Interview

'The extreme far right has made itself appear more mainstream'

Since the Brexit referendum, voters in several European countries have expressed their anxiety at the ballot box about immigration, cultural values and security. Professor...

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