France is committed to Syria solution, says Hollande
France’s President François Hollande said on Saturday that he remained committed to finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria, after criticism from the right-wing opposition that he has been too passive in dealing with the crisis. Hollande made the remarks as he paid tribute to the 88th French soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Speaking from Varces, in southeastern France, Hollande said that France was in support of the Syrian opposition and would continue to work with the international community towards a political transition of power in Syria.
The president also noted that France had already deployed a team of military medical personnel to the Syria-Jordan border to deal with the humanitarian crisis.
A second plane carrying almost 100 tons of equipment left for Jordan on Saturday, for use at the newly established field hospital.
The humanitarian aid is intended, according to Hollande, for not only victims of the crisis, but also opposition fighters trying to crush Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Hollande spoke about Syria during a memorial for fallen soldier Sergeant-Major Franck Bouzet.
Bouzet, 45, was killed on Tuesday during a clash in Kapisa province in eastern Afghanistan.
Hollande, joined by Defence Minister Jean-Yves le Drian and army chief of staff General Bertrand Ract Madoux, said, "In Afghanistan, as in other regions of the world, our soldiers are fighting for peace, fighting for stability, fighting for human rights, always under the mandate of the United Nations.”
Hollande’s comments about French action in Syria were the first since right-wing opponents – most notably ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy – accused him of not taking enough action over the conflict.