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SYRIA

Assad praises alternative media

The conflict over ISIS-held eastern Aleppo by the Syrian government has made the front page of the news in France, but for the wrong reasons.

Published: January 11, 2017, 9:54 am

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    The French mainstream outlets have not been eager to report on the victory over the terrorists.

    Bashar al-Assad has now communicated the real state of affairs in his country after he accused the mainstream media of false reporting.

    The Syrian president has granted an exclusive interview to three French media outlets: FranceInfo, RTL and LCP.

    Although the full interview has not yet been released, FWM has been able to report on parts of it in which Assad praises the alternative media.

    The French journalists accompanied a delegation of three French deputies who traveled to Syria and were received last Sunday for an hour by Assad. They were Thierry Mariani, Nicolas Dhuicq and Jean Lassalle, as FWM reported.

    Assad has given an interview to French media before. In April 2015, for example, David Pujadas was able to conduct an interview with the President of Syria broadcast on 20 Heures de France.

    Assad told the reporters that France had harmed its own interests through its foreign policy. He said the the truth had become the main victim during the hostilities.

    The Syrian president encouraged French citizens to look into alternative media sources as “they can be more effective in demanding the truth from their government”. He suggested that “not allowing some politicians to base their politics on lies” would be achieved by shunning mainstream media.

    Assad also noted that the conflict in his country was not an isolated one, but a major part was regional.

    He said as a result it depended mainly “on the relationship between the US and Russia”.

    One of France’s candidates for the presidential race this year has a similar viewpoint to Assad regarding French diplomacy and foreign policy.

    “France’s voice is not heard at international level nowadays, so we should take measures in order to raise the country’s profile. France and the West have lost control over the situation in the Middle East while Russia, Turkey and Iran have become very influential. The French diplomacy has been embarrassed watching it all as it has made many mistakes,” Francois Fillon told TASS.

    “In 2017 the time has come to decisively change the French diplomacy’s view of the world. Measures should also be taken to boost France’s military capabilities. I want to raise France’s global influence and profile,” the politician stressed.

    “No matter if people like it or not, but the situation in Syria has been changing, which could provide the French diplomacy with an opportunity to actively participate in these processes. I want France to regain its rightful place on the international stage, a place between Russia and the US, Sunnis and Shias. France should once again become a player that other countries will listen to,” Fillon said.

    “Donald Trump’s election win and the Berlin attacks bring about a significant change in the situation in Europe. For the US, the European continent is no more a priority while the recent tragic events mean that the era of pacifist conception of reality has come to an end in Germany. France should use this opportunity to ensure that European countries join their efforts aimed at strengthening collective security and defense, developing scientific and technological innovations as well as increasing the resilience of the Eurozone,” Fillon added.

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