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President Assad. Photo supplied

Delegation from Le Pen’s party hopes to meet Assad

There is at least one way for Marine Le Pen's party to express its support for Damascus and to congratulate it for its fight against Islamist terrorism. Thierry Mariani will be leading the delegation to the war-torn country.

Published: August 28, 2019, 7:40 am

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    This is an unprecedented trip for the National Rally. As reported by L’Opinion, a delegation of the RN, led by MEP Thierry Mariani, flew to Syria on Tuesday 27 August, in order to meet with the Syrian authorities, a minister – and even better, President Bashar el- Assad himself.

    Andréa Kotarac. Facebook

    Alongside the LR defector Mariani rallied to Marine Le Pen, are MEPs Nicolas Bay and Virginie Joron, as well as the former rebellious Andréa Kotarac.

    The arrival of this delegation of the RN in Damascus is like a courtesy visit. “We will go […] to meet political, economic, cultural and religious leaders in this country, which for the last eight years has been fighting courageously and successfully against Islamist terrorists,” Thierry Mariani noted on Twitter.

    Bashar al-Assad, who has established his dominance over jihadist fighters in recent years, has gained the admiration of the party.

    Thierry Mariani. Wikipedia

    “Bashar al-Assad wins the war with the Russians and the Iranians; it’s good to go see the republic that won against the Islamists,” Andréa Kotarac told L’Opinion. After supporting the pro-Russian separatists in Donbass, the former protégé of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who left LFI last May, expressed the same desire to get closer to Russia as did Thierry Mariani. The latter met Vladimir Putin last March, and the Syrian leader not less than five times.

    According to the two men, the fight against Islamism, led in Syria and Iraq, responds to a real “challenge of civilization”. It also justifies abuses that may have been committed by Damascus, according to Andréa Kotarac. “Our thinking goes to the innocent dead, but international relations have never been a Disneyland,” he said, adding that he felt “closer to Bashar al-Assad than to Laurent Fabius.”

    Fabius, the former Socialist Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016, marked three milestones in Franco-Syrian relations:

    • He refused to negotiate with President Assad to defeat ISIS,
    • He supported Syrian rebel groups against Assad, and
    • He said that “Al-Nusra was doing a good job”

    For the Syrian president, the outcome of the conflict with the rebels and jihadists is not in doubt.

    The war in Syria may end soon, President Bashar al-Assad assured his troops at the beginning of the month, on August 1 in an open letter, stating that their efforts were to be rewarded.

    French magazine 20 minutes reported on content of the letter “Our victory is near,” Assad said on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the Syrian army.

    After seven years of conflict, the regime’s forces ended up taking over entire regions occupied by jihadists. The army now controls two-thirds of the country, including most of the major cities as well as roads and several border crossing points.

    Supported by their Russian and Iranian allies as well as by the Lebanese Hezbollah, Syrian troops were able to make progress after heavy bombardment by Damascus, also securing rebel capitulation agreements.

    “From Homs and Palmyra to Aleppo, from Qalamoun and Deir ez-Zor to Eastern Ghouta and Western Ghouta, other cities and the countryside. They were finally forced to leave – humiliated, they retreated – after you gave them a taste of the bitter defeat, ” warned the Syrian leader. More than 350 000 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict in 2011.

    In April, the entourage of President Emmanuel Macron announced that a disciplinary procedure for the withdrawal of the Legion of Honor had been initiated by France against the Syrian president.

    The distinction had been awarded under French President Jacques Chirac, the latter stating that Bashar al-Assad embodied moderation, unlike his father Hafez.

    This distinction has been withdrawn from others too. This was the case for the cyclist Lance Armstrong and the fashion designer John Galliano, one for doping, the other for antisemitic remarks.

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