Lead transition or go, Sarkozy tells Syria`s Assad
French President, Nicolas Sarkozy`s declaration is the first time that France has spoken so explicitly about Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad leaving power.
Deauville: French President
Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday joined US President Barack Obama`s call
for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to lead the protest-hit
nation`s transition to democracy or step down.
"Could I have said that? Yes," Sarkozy said in an
answer to a journalist`s question at the end of the G8 summit
in the French resort of Deauville.
Sarkozy said that Obama "was right" when he said on
May 19, "President Assad now has a choice. He can lead that
transition or get out of the way. The Syrian government must
stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests."
Sarkozy`s declaration is the first time that France
has spoken so explicitly about Assad leaving power. Until now
France has simply called for an end to the repression in Syria
and for reforms to be implemented.
"We`ve done everything to bring Syria into the
international community. Everything. We talked (to the
Syrians), tried to help them, to understand them," he said.
"Unfortunately, I`m sorry to say that Syria`s leaders
are moving quickly in reverse. Under these conditions, France
withdraws its trust and denounces what must be denounced,"
"President Bashar al-Assad knew perfectly that France
would do this once there was this unacceptable democratic