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Poll’s Show France’s Fillon Will Easily Beat Far-Right’s Le Pen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Francois Fillon, former French prime minister and member of Les Republicains political party, attends a rally as he campaigns in the second round for the French center-right presidential primary election in Lyon, France, November 22, 2016. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

French conservative Francois Fillon will beat the far-right’s Marine Le Pen by a wide margin in next spring’s election for president, a poll by Kantar Sofres Onepoint showed on Tuesday.

Fillon, a former prime minister with radical free-market policies, won the ticket of the Republicans party in a primary contest on Sunday and is widely expected to find himself pitted against National Front leader Le Pen in the second round of the election next May.

On another note, France called for an immediate United Nations Security Council meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Aleppo and said it would press for a U.N. resolution to punish the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Speaking ahead of a meeting in the Belarusian capital Minsk on the Ukrainian crisis, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Syrian regime forces and their allies would not resolve the Syrian conflict by carrying out one of the “biggest massacres on a civilian population since World War Two.”

“This (Security Council) meeting would have to find a way to deal with the humanitarian situation and see how we can get aid in. We have to find a way,” Ayrault told Reuters.

Previous such meetings have failed to end hostilities.

France, a backer of the anti-Assad opposition, is pushing for a Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on Syria for the use of chemical weapons. Ayrault said France and Britain had taken over drafting the resolution from the United States.

An inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has already found that government forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks and that Islamic State militants had used mustard gas.

“We are now the penholders. We are not giving up. There have to be sanctions,” Ayrault said before meeting his Russian, German and Ukrainian counterparts.

Ayrault said a meeting in Paris around Dec. 10 of countries opposed to Assad, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, would discuss how to find a political solution to the crisis.