Thursday 22 February 2018

France rules out Assad partnership

French President Francois Hollande
French President Francois Hollande

French President Francois Hollande has ruled out an international partnership with Syria's leader to fight against the Islamic State group, saying any alliance with Bashar Assad would play into the militants' hands.

In a wide-ranging speech to international ambassadors, Mr Hollande said France would call an international conference to address the threat of Islamic State militants and said a broad alliance was needed.

He said: "But I want to make sure things are clear: Bashar Assad cannot be a partner in the fight against terrorism. That would be the goal of the jihadists. You cannot choose between two barbarities, because they feed on each other."

Mr Hollande also said he views Libya as the next crucial front for terrorism, saying a militant group was forming amid the country's fall into chaos.

Press Association

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