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3/27/15

Middle East - France says Assad talks would be ‘scandalous gift’ to Islamic State group

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday rejected any role for President Bashar al-Assad in Syrian peace talks, saying it would be a “scandalous gift” to the Islamic State group Fabius’s comments came a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that talks with Assad were necessary to bring the bloody conflict in Syria to an end as it enters its fifth year.

“The solution is a political transition which would preserve regime institutions, not Mr Bashar al-Assad. Any other solution which would keep Mr Assad in the saddle would be an absolutely scandalous, gigantic gift to Daesh,” Fabius said in Brussels, using another name for IS.

“The millions of Syrians who have been persecuted by Assad would transfer their support to Daesh. Obviously that must be avoided.”

The French minister said he had spoken to Kerry on Monday morning and that the top US diplomat “assured me that there was absolutely nothing new in the American position on Syria.”

Read more: Middle East - France says Assad talks would be ‘scandalous gift’ to Islamic State group - France 24

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