• France's news in English
 

French minister urges Syria power transfer

Published: 16 Feb 2013 10:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Feb 2013 11:19 GMT+01:00

"Given the enormous price paid already by the Syrian people... it is more urgent than ever to act to overcome differences in favour of a political transition," Le Drian told a security forum in the United Arab Emirates.

He said the change should be "a transition in which president Assad would no longer keep his place".

Le Drian spoke of a "tragedy" and accused Assad and his family "of clinging to power by multiplying the daily massacres and atrocities".

The minister's remarks came after the umbrella opposition National Council on Friday refused to accept Assad in any talks on ending Syria's 23-month conflict, as part of a "framework" it has drawn up for a political solution.

China and Russia have blocked three resolutions at the UN Security Council that would have threatened sanctions against the Assad regime over its brutal crackdown on democracy protests that erupted in March 2011.

The crackdown triggered an armed uprising, and the United Nations says the conflict has killed nearly 70,000 people.

On Iran, the French minister stressed the need to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, and said sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic were aimed at pushing it into serious negotiations.

"The progress of Iran's programme only adds to our concerns" about the unacceptable "possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear arms," he told the Gulf Defence Conference held in Abu Dhabi.

Le Drian said it was the responsibility of countries to ensure that Iran's suspect nuclear programme "fails" in order to guarantee security for all.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union "appear to me to be the way to bring Iran to negotiate seriously," he added.

The International Energy Agency said on Wednesday that Western sanctions on Iran had slashed its oil export revenues by $40 billion in 2012 as production hit a three-decade low.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Charlie Hebdo cartoonist wins top comic award
French cartoonist Riad Sattouf speaks after scooping the Fauve d'Or trophy. Photo: PIERRE DUFFOUR / AFP

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist wins top comic award

A youngster's tale of life torn between France and the Middle East by a Charlie Hebdo contributor scooped the top award at one of the world's biggest comics festivals in France on Sunday. READ  

Greek FM wants debt deal 'by the end of May'
New Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and his French counterpart Michel Sapin arrive at a press conference after their meeting on Sunday. Photo: JACQUES DEMARTHON / AFP

Greek FM wants debt deal 'by the end of May'

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Sunday said he wanted to see a global agreement on his heavily indebted country's financial situation "by the end of May". READ  

Three more cops held over missing coke haul

Three more cops held over missing coke haul

Three French police officers were on Saturday brought before judges investigating the theft of more than 50 kilograms of cocaine from police headquarters in Paris last year, a judicial source told AFP. READ  

Frenchmen deported for nude pics at Angkor
A man cycles through the north gate of the Angkor Thom. TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP

Frenchmen deported for nude pics at Angkor

Three French tourists will be deported from Cambodia after they pleaded guilty to taking nude pictures of each other inside the country's famed Angkor temple complex, a prosecutor said Saturday. READ  

Greek FM in Paris to lobby for debt cuts
Yanis Varoufakis at the handover to the new Greek government earlier this week. Photo: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

Greek FM in Paris to lobby for debt cuts

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has moved forward to Saturday a planned trip to Paris that launches the new anti-austerity government's search for EU allies, his office said. READ  

When French tourists behave badly abroad
In 2013 France's consul-general in Australia issued a plea to French backpackers saying their behaviour was bringing shame on the French community. Photo: drunk_by_i_woke_up_today/Flickr

When French tourists behave badly abroad

The French aren’t known to be a particularly rowdy bunch, but they have been known to misbehave while abroad. From an orgy in the Pompeii brothel to scaling an American landmark, we've made a countdown of some of their most mischievous exploits. And the prize for the naughtiest goes to… READ  

France lists how to spot jihadists (and new dads)
Nine ways to spot a potential jihadist, by the French government. New parents beware. Photo: AFP

France lists how to spot jihadists (and new dads)

As part of its new counter-terrorist campaign “Stop Jihadism”, the French government has released a nine-point check list to help people spot someone on the path to jihad, but The Local fears suspicion may fall on all new parents. READ  

Your top 20 favourite French words
Your top 20 favourite French words. photo: Shutterstock

Your top 20 favourite French words

Everyone's got their favourite French words, whether they're amusing, odd or just fun to pronounce. After we put the call out to readers The Local has put together a list of your suggestions. See if yours made our top 20. READ  

Football
Marseille victim of €700,000 Chinese scam
Marseille's teammates celebrate after winning the French Ligue 1 friendly between Marseille and Benfica Lisbonne in July, 2014. Photo: Thierry Zoccolan/AFP

Marseille victim of €700,000 Chinese scam

French Ligue 1 giants Marseille were the victims of a €700,000 ($793,000) international bank transfer scam to China last year, sources close to the case told AFP on Friday. READ  

Frenchmen held for nude pics at Angkor temple
The male tourists were discovered inside the Banteay Kdei temple. Photo: Leon petrosyan/Wikicommons

Frenchmen held for nude pics at Angkor temple

UPDATED: Three French tourists have been arrested by Cambodian authorities for taking nude photos of each other inside the country's famed Angkor temple complex, officials said on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Why you should steer well clear of Michelin's top Paris restaurants
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
France's trial of the year: DSK prepares for court
Culture
The myths that mean French lovers regularly disappoint
National
What you can’t say or tweet in post-terror attacks France
Features
Everything you need to know about studying in France
Culture
What's on in France: Ten things to do in February
National
The ways French motorists drive expats crazy
National
'French culture demands jihadists are punished not de-radicalised'
Culture
'Midriff the new cleavage' at Chanel's Paris show
Politics
'Syriza victory is good news for French people'
Society
France bars parents from naming baby 'Nutella'
National
France has no entrepreneurs!? What about fart pills for windy lovers?
Society
Nutella to Happy: The wacky French baby names banned by law
Culture
Men's Fashion Week in Paris in pictures - from penises to androgyny
Health
Could France be the next country to ban sunbeds?
Gallery
Ten French words you will never hear in France
National
Wrap up warm: Big freeze to hit northern France at the weekend
National
Muslims in France - 'They say we're not French'
National
Paris wants New York-inspired 'citizen cards'
Gallery
An architect has shown how he thinks Paris should look in 2050
Culture
Where are the real "no-go zones" in Paris? We've listed 10.
Society
Cheese diet helps oldest Frenchman live to 110
National
Charlie Hebdo chief stands firm over cartoons as global protests spread
National
'It feels like I'm in a warzone': Paris tourist
National
Are there really 'no-go zones' in Paris?
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
National
A futuristic vision of Paris revealed... and other news
National
What now for France post-terror attacks?
National
France to beef up its surveillance powers
National
Charlie Hebdo sells out within hours in France
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects in Sweden and across Europe
National
France moves to crack down on terror speech in aftermath of attacks
National
French Muslims react to Charlie Hebdo's Muhammad cover
National
'I only had a few seconds to hide from the Kouachis'
National
After three days of terror France feels like a nation
National
IN PICTURES: France's biggest street demos in recent history
National
And in other news in France ...
National
A defiant France rises up on solidarity like never before
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Paris marches for unity after terror attacks
National
OPINION: 'As bloody as it's been, France is not at war'
National
'It's a true nightmare': Parisians react to terror attacks
National
French to march in unity to help heal their wounded nation
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

549
jobs available