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Syria opposition praises France's anti-Assad stance

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (centre) met French lawmakers in Damascus, on February 25, 2015Syria’s exiled opposition praised France on Sunday for maintaining its “exemplary” opposition to President Bashar al-Assad after a group of French lawmakers made a controversial visit to Damascus this week. “The position of France has always been exemplary, and your country has consistently held to the side of the Syrian people against any attempt to rehabilitate the regime in Damascus under false protenses,” the group’s leader, Khaled Khoja, wrote in a letter to the French government. His letter followed an unofficial trip by French lawmakers to the Syrian capital last week, during which they met with Assad and other senior officials. The trip reignited debate in Europe over whether it was time to rebuild diplomatic ties with the Syrian regime in order to counter the greater threat from jihadist groups such as the Islamic State.

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