Skip to main content

France’s 'diplomatic signaling' on Syria

A recent Paris meeting on chemical weapons signaled a French attempt to regain a diplomatic foothold in Syria, but also acknowledged Russia as the main arbiter of the Syrian crisis.
Read in 

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian recently gave an extensive interview to Le Figaro on France's diplomatic orientations. Most of the Jan. 21 interview dealt with Middle Eastern issues, with emphasis on the Syrian crisis and Iran. Le Drian’s interview prepared the ground for the International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, an international meeting held Jan. 23 in Paris. Spearheaded by France, Great Britain, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, or the Group of Five, the meeting focused on stopping chemical weapons attacks and denying impunity to those who use or enable the use of such weapons.

The Paris meeting was timely given that it took place a few days before a new round of (unfruitful) peace talks in Vienna on resolving the Syrian crisis and less than a week ahead of the Russia-sponsored Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi Jan. 29-30. Moreover, a few hours before the meeting, the United States had accused the Syrian government of a chlorine gas attack in Eastern Ghouta.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.