In a remarkable position, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, on Tuesday, expressed her support for the trial of the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, pointing to the fall of “hundreds of thousands of deaths” and “the use of chemical weapons,” which the regime was accused of during the conflict that began in 2011.
Colonna said, “We must remember who Bashar al-Assad really is, that he is a leader who has been the enemy of his people for more than ten years,” adding, “We must remember that hundreds of thousands of people were killed, and chemical weapons that were used.”
The French minister stressed that lifting European sanctions is “definitely not” on the agenda, nor changing France’s position towards the Syrian president.
But wait, how can France demand the trial of the Syrian regime’s leader while also initiating an effort and backing Bashar al-Assad’s favorite figure in Lebanon, Sleiman Franjieh to reach presidency chair?
According to French diplomatic sources, France was among the first to demand for Bashar al-Assad’s prosecution, arguing that he should not escape punishment and justice for all of the regime’s crimes against the Syrian people. Al-Assad and his dictatorship must be held responsible for all of their crimes in Lebanon, including the murder of innocent people, kidnappings, killings, robberies, and corruption.
Regarding the French administration’s support for Franjieh for the presidency of the republic, French diplomatic sources stressed that French President Emmanuel Macron made a mistake in approaching the presidential elections in Lebanon, and he needed to study the reality in Lebanon before launching his initiative, which initially failed and is no longer available.
According to sources, Macron had to first coordinate with Bkerke, headquarters of Maronite Church in Lebanon, just as the French administration failed to pay attention to the Lebanese people and their concerns in its presidential approach, and thus failed to achieve its goals. Therefore, it is not a “norm” that Franjieh will become the future president.