Assad accuses France of backing ‘terrorism’

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DMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a scathing attack on France, accusing it of backing “terrorism” and saying it has “no right to talk about peace” in the war-torn country.
His comments came days after Paris accused the Damascus regime of obstructing the latest round of failed peace talks for Syria held in Geneva last week.
“France has been the standard bearer of support for terrorism in Syria since the early days of the conflict,” said Assad of Paris s support for rebels who have been battling his regime since 2011. “It is in no position to evaluate a peace conference,” Assad told journalists in Damascus.
“Whoever backs terrorism has no right to talk about peace or to interfere in Syrian affairs,” he said.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed France s role from the early days of the international coalition against the Islamic State. “Mr Bashar al-Assad really doesn t seem to be in a position of power to affirm a political stance as long as he s dependent on Iran and Russia,” Le Drian told reporters during a visit in Washington.
The Damascus regime has no “lessons” to give Paris, he added. “It s the coalition that paved the way for victory.” The latest peace talks in Switzerland ended Thursday without progress.

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