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France seeks foothold in northeast Syria

France has extended an invitation to the various components of northeast Syria, namely the Kurds, to visit Paris as the latter seeks more influence in the area.
Francois Delattre, ambassador and permanent representative of France to the United Nations, speaks during the UN Security Council meeting on Syria, New York, Feb. 27, 2020.
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The eastern Euphrates area in Syria topped the news headlines at the end of 2020, as Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring against the Kurds shuffled the cards and opened the way to a multilateral rivalry seeking to control the most important area in Syria. The Russians, Turks and Americans have been actively striving to reinforce their military presence in the area, which is around one-third of the Syrian surface area. Most of it is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the US-led international coalition, which are working to cement an understanding with the Russians to prevent new Turkish intervention in the area.

A French envoy visited in early April the northeast of Syria and met with several Kurdish, Arab and Syriac figures, and extended an invitation to the representatives of these components in the SDF-controlled area to visit the Elysee Palace in Paris to discuss the Syrian situation. The visit was followed in mid-April by a similar visit to Qamishli by a French Foreign Ministry delegation. French President Emmanuel Macron had welcomed in April 2019 an SDF delegation and declared offering financial support to cover the humanitarian needs and ensure the stability of the social and economic situation in Syria.

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