France reaffirms Assad is not part of solution for Syria

France repeated its position on Friday that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad must step down as part of any political transition aimed at finding a solution to the Syrian conflict.
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal reiterated the French position after UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said that Al-Assad “is part of the solution” and he would continue to hold important talks with the Syrian leader as he remains the President of his country.
De Mistura’s comments appear in contrast to the position of many countries, including France, which have consistently maintained Al-Assad cannot be part of the future of Syria and must leave office, although members of his regime can be part of the negotiations for a political solution.
Nadal said that Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had spoken with de Mistura on the Syrian issue last February 8 and France was “in permanent contact with the Special Envoy to help Syria to find a political solution to the crisis.” The spokesman did not reveal if the question of Al-Assad was discussed between Fabius and the UN official.
“The Geneva statement, under the aegis of the United Nations, set out the objective of putting in place a transitional authority with full executive competence. There will be no transition without the departure of Bashar Al-Assad,” Nadal affirmed.

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