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Syria

Published on September 3, 2013
Interview given by M. Manuel Valls, Minister of the Interior, to the daily newspaper Le Monde (excerpts)

Paris, September 3, 2013

Q. – Does France understand Barack Obama’s last-minute U-turn on Syria?

THE MINISTER – It’s the President of the United States’ choice.

Q. – Can France go there alone, without the Americans?

THE MINISTER – No, France can’t go there alone, but you know that.

Q. – It’s a crime against humanity, but we can’t go there alone?

THE MINISTER – With what extra resources? No, there must be a coalition.

Q. – Isn’t François Hollande, too, going to be forced to ask for a green light from Parliament?

THE MINISTER – A meeting of Parliament has already been called for Wednesday 4 September. There was no obligation to do this.

Q. – Without a vote?

THE MINISTER – Without a vote. At 5.00 p.m. on Monday the Prime Minister decided to convene the presidents of the assemblies – the National Assembly and the Senate –, the committee chairmen – Foreign Affairs and Defence – and the group chairmen, precisely to prepare for this debate. The Constitution of the Fifth Republic does not provide for a preliminary vote. (…)./.

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