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Fight against terrorism/Syria/Iraq/Qatar

Published on January 13, 2015
Interview given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to France Inter (excerpts)
Paris, January 12, 2015

(…)

Q. – As Foreign Minister, will you finally think about sending troops back to Syria to go and fight the terrorists where they are?

THE MINISTER – I was on yesterday’s march alongside President Ibrahim Keita, President of Mali. He reminded me that 11 January 2013 was the day we decided to send troops to Mali to fight against terrorism. One of the raisons d’être of France’s foreign policy is to combat terrorism. We did so in Mali; we’re doing so in the form of air cover in Iraq, because Daesh [ISIL] is present there and it’s France’s role to help the Iraqi people defend themselves.

In Syria, as you know, we’re helping the moderate opposition; obviously we’re profoundly opposed to Daesh, but we think action must be taken in such a way as not to encourage Bashar al-Assad. Why? Because if Syria only has a choice between the dictator Bashar al-Assad and the terrorist group Daesh, Syria will be torn apart, divided, for very many years, and the Syrians and the neighbouring peoples, particularly the Lebanese, will be victims of that. (…)./.

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