France ready to recognise Syrian opposition as govt
Paris: French President Francois Hollande has called on the Syrian opposition to establish a provisional government and says that France is ready to recognise it.
"France calls on the Syrian opposition to establish a provisional government that may become a legitimate representative of new Syria. France will recognise the government of a new Syria once it is established," said Hollande at an annual conference of France's ambassadors.
France "is helping those who are establishing liberated zones in Syria. We are working on an initiative proposed by Turkey on creating buffer zones", he said.
Hollande believes that President Bashar al-Assad's regime may resort to chemical weapons.
"We remain vigilant to prevent the use by the (Syrian) regime of chemical weapons, which would be for the international community legitimate grounds for direct intervention."
The Syrian conflict has claimed up to 20,000 lives, according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups.
The West is pushing for Assad's ouster, while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria, saying the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.