• France edition
 
'Political solution' needed in Syria: French minister
File photo of al-Assad (L): Sana/AFP. File Photo of Laurent Fabius (R): Cyclotron/Wikimedia

'Political solution' needed in Syria: French minister

Published: 06 May 2013 09:15 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 May 2013 09:15 GMT+02:00

France called for a "political solution" to the conflict in Syria after the country's regime was suspected of using chemical weapons following two Israeli raids on the country.  

Israeli raids on Sunday hit three military sites outside Damascus, the second such reported attack in 48 hours, reportedly targeting weapons bound for Lebanese group Hezbollah which is an ally of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The Syrian government warned that the regional situation was "more dangerous" following the raid as fears grew of a spillover of the conflict.

"The situation in Syria is a real tragedy," Fabius told a press conference, adding that if it continued, it could be a "human and political disaster".

"We must try and achieve a political solution, that is the aim," Fabius said, urging the opposition Syrian National Coalition to "insist" on a political solution to the conflict and to form "a transitional government".

Fabius also said the Israeli air strikes could risk creating conflict in the region.

"Obviously it's something that one can understand, but at the same time, it's a risk," he said of the raids. "If the conflict extends to neighbouring countries, it would be a turning point in its nature."

On Sunday British foreign minister William Hague said the Israeli air strikes showed that peace in the region was under threat, and reinforced the need to lift an arms embargo on Syrian rebels.

On chemical weapons, Fabius said the United States, Britain, France and Canada have "hints" that they were used by the Syrian regime, and would further investigate whether there was proof.

"Many of us have said that if it was demonstrated that there has been use of chemical weapons it's a game-changer," Fabius said.

US President Barack Obama has refused to rule out any options, but has said he did not foresee deploying US troops if Assad's regime is proved to have used chemical weapons.

AFP/The Local (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Gaza crisis
Thousands march in Paris to back Israel
Around 5,000 marched in Paris on Thursday in support of Israel as the Middle East crisis continues. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

Thousands march in Paris to back Israel

Around 5,000 people joined a pro-Israel demo in Paris on Thursday evening to show their support for the Jewish state as it continues its bombardment of Gaza amid growing international criticism. READ  

French telecom giant Iliad bids for T-Mobile
France's Iliad, which operates Free, has bid for a contolling stake in US carrier T-Mobile. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

French telecom giant Iliad bids for T-Mobile

French upstart telecom operator Iliad, which operates Free, said on Thursday it has bid for a controlling stake in US carrier T-Mobile, offering an alternative to a potential tie-up with rival Sprint. READ  

Jean Jaures: France pays hommage 100 years on
President François Hollande takes a coffee in Cafe du Crossaint where Jean Jaures was assassinated 100 years ago. Photo: Yoan Valat/Pool/AFP

Jean Jaures: France pays hommage 100 years on

On Thursday France paid tribute to one of its greatest political leaders who was assassinated in a Paris café exactly 100 years ago. Politicians on the left and the right are still fighting over the legacy of leftist hero Jean Jaures. READ  

Air Algérie crash: To ID victims 'may take years'
It may take years to identify the remains of the passengers killed in the Air Algérie crash. Photo: Sia Kambou/AFP

Air Algérie crash: To ID victims 'may take years'

Identifying the remains of the 118 people killed last week when an Air Algérie flight crashed in Mali, including 54 French nationals, could take "months and maybe years," an Algerian police official said on Thursday. READ  

Air France tests unusual luggage check-in system
Air France will let some passengers skip bringing their bags to their airport this weekend. Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP

Air France tests unusual luggage check-in system

Scores of passengers flying on Air France this weekend won’t need to bring their bags to the airport if they don’t want to. As part of a pilot programme they can instead check their luggage in central Paris and then proceed to Charles de Gaulle empty-handed. READ  

French hospital opens wine bar for patients
The wine bar will be open to patients and their friends and relatives. Wine bar photo: Shutterstock

French hospital opens wine bar for patients

A hospital in south-central France has come up with an unconventional (not to mention extremely French) idea to try to improve the lives of terminally ill patients. It has opened up a wine bar that will offer "medically supervised" wine tasting. READ  

'The French among the world's stingiest tippers'
Are the French stingy tippers? Photo of a bill: Shutterstock

'The French among the world's stingiest tippers'

The French have never been big on tipping, but according to a new survey they increasingly pay what they owe and not a penny more. An expert has an interesting explanation, which has nothing to do with the French being cheap. READ  

French ballerinas offer lessons in Fukushima
French ballet dancer Dorothree Gilbert (R) of the Paris Opera giving a lesson to Japanese children in Fukushima. Photo: Antoine Bouthier/AFP

French ballerinas offer lessons in Fukushima

A group of French ballet stars from the renowned Paris Opera donned tutus and tights in the shadow of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and twirled their way into the hearts of local students. READ  

'Exorbitant' estate agency fees capped by new law
France is finally capping the fees real estate agencies can charge renters. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

'Exorbitant' estate agency fees capped by new law

Starting in September France is finally going to cap the sometimes outrageous ‘agency fees’ renters have to pay when signing the lease for a new apartment. It will mean paying less for some, but not all French ‘locataires’. READ  

France condemns Israeli shelling of Gaza school
France has condemned the deadly shelling of a UN school in Gaza by Israel. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP

France condemns Israeli shelling of Gaza school

France's president condemned the Israeli shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza that killed 16 people who had sought refuge there. It was the second time this week Israeli artillerie hit a UN school in Gaza. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
France honours Jean Jaures, 100 years after he was assassinated
National
Nudity on the beaches of France: Dos and don'ts
National
Hospital opens patient wine bar with 'medically supervised' wine tasting
Society
Will France ban this violent Jewish fringe group?
Culture
Why are the days of going topless in France coming to an end?
Travel
Reckless or adventurous? US dad takes his two children up Mont Blanc
National
From manure to money: Ten bizarre facts about the French Parliament
Culture
Tourists picnic with rats in Louvre gardens
International
Is France really Europe's biggest public spenders?
National
Could your job in France soon be done by a robot?
National
Why you should think twice about feeding stray cats in France
National
And the new redrawn map of France will look like...?
Politics
Is French President François Hollande about to tie the knot?
International
Want a long-term visa? You may soon have to take a French test
International
Votes for foreigners: 'France would be giving up its sovereignty'
National
VIDEO: Stuntman jumps onto a moving Paris metro... and survives
Gallery
Forget 'faire l'amour', here's 15 top French expressions for making love
National
Report - 'Anti-Semitic' riots in France: 'We may leave for Israel'
National
Paris Plages: Here's 10 reasons to head down to the city beach
International
'Mont Blanc is like Disneyland. It's time to end the free-for-all'
Travel
Fancy climbing Mont Blanc? Here's 10 reasons to think twice about it
Gallery
Looking for a weird museum in Paris? Here's 10 that are worth a visit
National
Clear your head: Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
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