French President meets delegation from Syrian opposition group

PARIS, French President Emmanuel Macron received at the Elysee Palace late Thursday a delegation representing the opposition Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) group to discuss the latest developments in the Syrian conflict.

Macron’s office said that the delegation had both Arab and Kurd representatives and was composed of both men and women.

The SDF group informed Macron about the security and humanitarian situation in Northern Syria and in areas where the group is still fighting against so-called Islamic State forces.

The SDF have been praised by France for their significant role in helping defeat IS in several areas and France is concerned that the Turkish intervention in northern Syria, particularly against Kurdish forces, will weaken the front against the (IS) terror organisation.

“The President of the Republic paid homage to the sacrifices and determining role of the SDF in the fight against Daesh (IS) and reaffirmed the priority of this fight as long as the terrorist threat remains,” Macron office said in a statement.

He assured the Syrian opposition group of French support in seeking to stabilise the northeast Syrian zone and by installing “an inclusive and balanced governance to prevent any resurgence of Daesh while awaiting a political solution to the Syrian conflict.” Macron also recalled his attachment to the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2401, which Kuwait and Sweden sponsored last month, but which is being violated on all sides.

Macron reiterated his concern over the events in the Afrin region where Turkish forces have carried out a massive military incursion and ousted the SDF forces from the zone.

At the same time, the French leader recalled his country’s commitment against the Kurdish PKK party which is active in Iraq and Turkey and is deemed a terrorist organisation by many countries, including France.

The French leader, taking note that the Kurdish YPG component of the Syrian Democratic Forces claims no link with the PKK, urged Turkey to open a dialogue with the YPG as part of broader talks with the SDF.

Macron said this could be done “with the assistance of France and the international community.” (end)

Source: Kuwait News Agency