(Image source: Le Monde)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


The new Syrian rebel coalition picked up some much-sought European support Tuesday.

French president Francois Hollande announced his country recognizes the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, making France the first European country to take that step. (Video via France 24)

Hollande called the coalition the “future government” of Syria. An Al Jazeera correspondent explains why France’s announcement is a big deal for the coalition.

“This is an important boost for the Syrian National Council who have been calling on European countries for recognition because recognition would allow them to buy arms.”

Hollande said now that France recognizes the opposition, the question of whether France can supply them with weapons could be reconsidered. But a BBC correspondent says don’t expect rapid change in the country.

“The president's remarks on reconsidering arms deliveries need to be treated with caution. Nothing will happen quickly, not least because France is bound by an EU embargo on arms deliveries to all sides in the Syrian conflict.”

There’s some speculation France might try to lead the U.S. into taking a stronger role in Syria like they did last year in Libya. But Foreign Policy Magazine’s senior editor told C-SPAN the U.S. is much more cautious with Syria.

“I think the rest of the U.S. allies, Turkey, they’re afraid of getting involved in this conflict. … There is a fear that it could widen and inflame the region and I think there’s a degree of caution.”

Several Gulf states have also recognized the coalition, but Russia and China both reiterated their calls for Syria’s problems to be settled internally.

France is First European Country to Recognize Syrian Rebels

by Steven Sparkman
0
Transcript
Nov 13, 2012

France is First European Country to Recognize Syrian Rebels

 

(Image source: Le Monde)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


The new Syrian rebel coalition picked up some much-sought European support Tuesday.

French president Francois Hollande announced his country recognizes the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, making France the first European country to take that step. (Video via France 24)

Hollande called the coalition the “future government” of Syria. An Al Jazeera correspondent explains why France’s announcement is a big deal for the coalition.

“This is an important boost for the Syrian National Council who have been calling on European countries for recognition because recognition would allow them to buy arms.”

Hollande said now that France recognizes the opposition, the question of whether France can supply them with weapons could be reconsidered. But a BBC correspondent says don’t expect rapid change in the country.

“The president's remarks on reconsidering arms deliveries need to be treated with caution. Nothing will happen quickly, not least because France is bound by an EU embargo on arms deliveries to all sides in the Syrian conflict.”

There’s some speculation France might try to lead the U.S. into taking a stronger role in Syria like they did last year in Libya. But Foreign Policy Magazine’s senior editor told C-SPAN the U.S. is much more cautious with Syria.

“I think the rest of the U.S. allies, Turkey, they’re afraid of getting involved in this conflict. … There is a fear that it could widen and inflame the region and I think there’s a degree of caution.”

Several Gulf states have also recognized the coalition, but Russia and China both reiterated their calls for Syria’s problems to be settled internally.

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