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Macron Discusses Political Transition in Syria with ‘Supreme Committee’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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French President-elect Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at his campaign headquarters after early results in the second round in the 2017 French presidential election in Paris, France, May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Lionel Bonaventure/Pool – RTS15K72

Beirut-The Higher Negotiation Committee (HNC) has convened a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during a visit to Paris where it also met with UN Envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura, two weeks after its meetings in Berlin following the last round of talks in Geneva.

The meeting between the HNC delegation, led by Riad Hijab, and the French President came one day after the latter hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The meeting wasn’t scheduled earlier, yet it was added to the agenda of the visits few hours before it was held in response to a request by the HNC delegation.

The unannounced meeting came as Macron seeks to review French policy on the six-year civil war.

Sources close to the matter told Asharq Al-Awsat that Macron’s positions in supporting the Syrian opposition to reach a solution for the Syrian crisis were positive and the European support for the HNC has not changed either.

“Macron recalled his personal commitment to the Syrian issue and his support to the Syrian opposition in view of a political transition in Syria,” a statement issued by the Elysee Palace read.

Sources said that HNC’s meeting with De Mistura was fine, noting that he stressed the importance of continuing the negotiations and activating them.

The committee, for its part, announced that its delegation, which included Monzer Makhous, George Sabra, Basma Kodmani, has discussed with Macron and his Foreign Minister means of carrying out the political transition process.

During the two meetings, Hijab stressed the opposition’s commitment to the political process and its support for any agreement that contributes to the implementation of UN resolutions and enhancement of humanitarian situation in Syria.

“It is important to adopt a new strategy for the negotiations process that reduces the suffering of Syrians and gives them some hope,” Hijab added.

Hijab expressed his gratitude for France’s positions that support the Syrian revolution and the Syrian people’s rights and called for an active European role in the diplomatic track.