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France tells Syrian opposition to form govt, pledges to recognize it

Published time: August 27, 2012 16:27
Edited time: August 28, 2012 13:52

Francois Hollande gives the opening speech of the 20th annual ambassador's conference on August 27, 2012 (AFP Photo / Pool / Bertrand Langlois)

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French President Francois Hollande has called on the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government, saying his country will recognize it as legitimate.

Hollande’s announcement – the first of its kind – creates new diplomatic pressure against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. 

Syria’s opposition remains badly fragmented, and it is far from clear whether such a provisional government could be formed anytime soon. But such a statement is seen by many as added incentive for the formation of government.

The French leader made annoucement during his first address to the country's ambassadors around the world. 

Hollande also warned the Syrian government that there could be a direct military intervention.

"With our partners we remain very vigilant regarding preventing the use of chemical weapons, which for the international community would be a legitimate reason for direct intervention."

This announcement comes after US President Barack Obama warned Assad that any use or even movement of the country’s stockpile of chemical weapons would be met by US military intervention.

The French leader also criticized Russia and China, claiming “their attitude weakens our ability to carry out the mandate conferred on us by the UN charter.”

'Free Syrian Army chosen proxies of Foreign powers’ – activist

­Brian Becker, director of the ANSWER anti-war coalition, told RT that Western states are pushing forward the idea of a proxy government as a part of their colonial agenda in the Middle East. And such a move would lay a strong basis for a full-scale military intervention, he added.

RT: The French leader has called on the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government, saying France would recognize it… What do you make of this?

Brian Becker: It’s most important to remember that France is the former colonizer of Syria, the colonizer along with the British in the Middle East. It is very odd and ironic, in fact completely hypocritical to have the French government saying to the Syrian opposition ‘you form a government and we will recognize you.’

I mean that’s just a script from the good old days when the colonial powers operated through proxies in Syria, Egypt, wherever the colonialism was, and that was most parts of the world. What we are seeing now is an escalation of foreign intervention.

If France, and if Britain and the United States, if the NATO powers in fact recognize this government by the Syrian opposition, by French colonialism in its new form, then we will see the basis being laid for downright full-scale military intervention to defend this new government which the West will say is the legitimate voice of the Syrian people.

RT: But who would form that new provisional government?

BB: Well, it would be those who would be most keen to the French, British, and US interests. In other words, there was an opposition, a big opposition to the Assad government in Syria that was against violence, against civil war and particularly against foreign intervention. They’ve been pushed to the side and in their place is the Free Syrian Army, the so-called Syrian revolutionaries who are nothing really at this point other than the chosen proxies of the foreign powers.

So it would be they, those who control the monopoly of violence, that is the NATO powers themselves, who will ultimately determine what the character is of this new so-called opposition government, or what they will declare to be the legitimate government of the Syrian people.

RT: Moscow has warned the US and its allies against the so-called 'democracy by bombs' scenario. Meanwhile, the French President has said that Russia and China are 'weakening' the UN over Syria. Do you agree?

BB: That’s the thing, you know, if the United States, and France, and Britain consider the United Nations to be nothing other than their plaything for their own foreign policy, yes they are very disappointed in Russia and China for “weakening the UN.” 

But if the UN is actually to be the voice for peace, a method, an instrument to avoid war, to avoid the ravages of colonialism as it has pretended to be at least in the past, then of course Russia and China are doing a completely legitimate function, which is to say ‘no, the United Nations must be the world body not the plaything, not the instrument of French, British and US foreign policy. By their sheer maintaining an independent position they are raising the ire of the Western powers. But of course the people in Syria and the Middle East hope that they’ll stay the course because they need the Middle East to be independent of the former colonial powers.

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