Hollande urges Syrian opposition to form govt

Updated: 2012-08-28 10:15


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PARIS - French President Francois Hollande on Monday called on Syrian opposition to form a new government lineup that Paris will recognize as the "legitimate representative of the new Syria."

Addressing a gathering of France's ambassadors, Hollande urged more efforts to ensure a swift political transition in the violence-ridden Arab country.

"France asked the Syrian opposition to establish a provisional, inclusive and representative government who can become the legitimate representative ... of post-Bashar al-Assad period," Hollande said in a fresh diplomatic pressure to oust the Syrian president

"France will recognize the provisional government of the new Syria once it would be formed," Hollande announced.

Describing the situation in Syria as "unbearable for the human consciousness" and "unacceptable for security and stability in the region," the French leader stressed that al-Assad "must leave."

Unveiling his diplomatic roadmap, Hollande noted that France participated in peacekeeping operations under the helm of UN Security Council in response to growing critics of his inaction to end the Syrian crisis and to rising calls for a military operation in Syria.

He estimated that Syria's use of chemical weapons would "represent a legitimate cause of direct intervention" in the country.

France, which holds the rotating chair of the UN Security Council for August, planned to chair a ministerial meeting of Council members at the end of this month focusing mainly on the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Meanwhile, raging clashes continued on Monday in several Syrian areas, most notably in the two key cities of Damascus and Aleppo.

The intensifying of violence in the capital came one day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pledged not to allow "foreign-backed scheme to achieve its goal in Syria whatever the cost might be."

Also, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Sunday that there would be no dialogue with the Syrian opposition until the end of the cleansing operations in restive areas.

The Syrian authorities brand the armed rebels "terrorists" lately, particularly after Jihadists- and al-Qaida-like groups started operating in Syria and waged attacks against the government troops.