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Experts, Intellectuals Condemn Macron’s New Stance on Syria’s Assad | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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French President Emmanuel Macron. (AFP)

London – Around a hundred intellectuals and experts addressed an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron over his recent stance on Syrian regime chief Bashar Assad, describing it as a “grave analytical mistake.”

In the letter published in France’s Liberation daily, the researchers analyzed the French leader’s position in which he said that “does not see a legitimate successor to Assad.”

In remarks to France’s Le Figaro daily on June 22, Macron stated that the Syrian regime leader “is not an enemy to France, but to the Syrian people.”

This marked a shift in French policy as Paris had long called for Assad’s ouster.

“Macron’s stance is a grave analytical mistake that will not only weaken France on the international scene, but it will not in any way, shape, or form eliminate terrorism,” said the intellectuals in their open letter on Monday.

Addressing Macron, they said: “By recognizing Assad’s legitimacy despite his documented crimes, you are placing France in the ranks of complicit countries.”

Furthermore, they criticized him for bringing Paris’ policy closer to that of the US and Russia through giving a “blank check” to the Syrian regime under the pretense of combating terrorism.

They believed instead that “Assad is not an enemy of terrorism, but its propagator.”

The signatories accused Marcon of “undermining an entire people, because you do not believe that it is capable of electing a legitimate successor to Assad.”

The signatories included Syria’s Farouk Mardam-Bey, novelist Sama Yazbek, Yassin Saleh and Lebanese researcher Ziad Majed, as well as France’s Vincent Geisser, Leila Seurat and journalists Edith Bouvier and Garance Le Caisne.