Hollande explains French foreign policy: Syria without Assad

May 31, 2013 at 1:10 PM
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PARIS, May 31 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande said Friday recent French military operations were a success and that France was working on political transition in Syria.

Speaking to the television news channel France 24 and its affiliates Radio France Internationale and TV5 Monde on French foreign policy, Hollande said African forces should take the lead in providing long-term security in Mali and other West African countries and that it wasn't France's role to be "Africa's policeman."

He added the health status of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is recovering from a stroke, won't destabilize the former French colony.

"I do not think there is any risk of chaos (in Algeria)," Hollande said, noting in the event of Bouteflika's death, he didn't expect a power vacuum.

In discussing the Syrian civil war and France's effort to recognize the rebel Syrian National Council as the country's legitimate political representative, Hollande said France was working on a diplomatic and political transition "that does not include (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad."

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