Putin, Hollande see differences on Syria sanction

Updated: 2012-06-02 15:27


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PARIS - Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Friday stressed the necessity of full implementation of UN resolution and Kofi Annan's plan, but saw sanctions against Syria in different ways.

Putin, Hollande see differences on Syria sanction


French President Francois Hollande (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) attend a news conference following a lunch at the Elysee Palace in Paris, June 1, 2012. [Photo/Agencies] 

"Mr Annan is a man of great experience and an honest man, and we must do everything we can to make sure his mission is successful. I believe it is counterproductive to say his mission is a failure in advance," Putin told reporters at a joint press conference with Hollande after the two leaders met on Friday night to find solution for Syria crisis.

However, the Russian president said imposing sanctions on the Syrian regime must be debated within the United Nations Security Council.

Putin admitted the possibility of the breakout of a civil war in the Middle East country.

"The most important thing we need to do is to prevent the situation from developing under the worst scenario and not let a civil war take place," he said, noting that consultation and more efforts are needed "to solve, via political means, the problems we faced".

"We propose to act in an accurate, balanced manner... in Syria," he suggested.

Hollande, on his part, refused to rule out military intervention in solving crisis in Syria.

Recognizing "the risk of destabilization, the risks of civil war" in Syria, the French President insisted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's departure was a "prerequisite for a political transition" in Syria.

The two leaders' talks came after Putin met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday afternoon in Berlin over the same issue. The two leaders expressed their preference of a political solution for the Syria crisis, as international pressure mounted on the Middle East country.

France has played an important role among western countries to tackle the Syria conflict between rebels and the Syrian government.

The country has been taking tough actions in a move to increase pressure on Syria after last Friday's mass killing in Syria's central village of Houla where over 100 people were reportedly killed.

Opposition groups said the tragedy was a result of artillery fire from government forces, while Syrian authorities blamed terrorist and extremist groups for the killings.

On Tuesday, joined by other major European partner countries, France announced to expel Syrian diplomats as part of France's "pressure tactics" against Syria.

In a television interview afterwards, Hollande even hinted that military operation could not be ruled out to end the conflict in Syria, but said that it had to be backed by the UN Security Council.

He also called for stronger sanctions and stressed the need to talk with Russia on the Syrian issue.