'If Something Happens in Syria, France Will Join US in War' – Journalist

© REUTERS / Kevin LamarqueFrench President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcoming ceremony at the Invalides in Paris, France, July 13, 2017.
French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcoming ceremony at the Invalides in Paris, France, July 13, 2017. - Sputnik International
French president Emmanuel Macron has been under pressure as MPs have been urging Paris to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which is involved in the Yemen war, after the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to France this week. Sputnik discussed their meeting with Laura Silvia Battaglia, a journalist living between Italy and Yemen.

Sputnik: What can you say of the results of the meeting between Mohammed bin Salman and President Macron?

Laura Silvia Battaglia: The meeting of Mohammed bin Salman with Macron is a clear sign establishing more relations and puts Macron in the position that he should follow what Salman is asking of him, and what he's asking, maybe, is to renew the axis represented by the USA and the parts of Europe, especially France and from the other side UK and Israel against Russia and against Iran as well, this is very clear, and it is necessary for Macron to follow eventually this path also because there's a very important economic deal on arms trade, so from this point it's really, really important and it's really dangerous also for the internal affairs for Macron in France.

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Sputnik: Can you elaborate on the dangers for Macron in France in terms of internal affairs?

Laura Silvia Battaglia: Macron, his position inside France and the public opinion over Macron is not so bright as before. Macron is clearly a politician that is running for an idea of a united Europe and following the economic issue of Europe, and these issues are not covering the issue of people working in agriculture, for example, students or immigrants. We know that in the last two weeks a lot of protests happen in Paris, a lot of people were beaten and eventually the position Macron actually can put his position in danger during the country's next election and give Le Pen more followers, and this is a real danger for France maybe in the future.

Sputnik: Emmanuel Macron has been under pressure from MPs that want Paris to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia because of their involvement in the Yemen war, you live in Yemen sometimes, can you comment on the impact of that both within France, the arms sales and the impact you're seeing in Yemen?

Laura Silvia Battaglia: The impact in general, of course, is absolutely terrifying for Yemeni people, especially people of the north, even though we can say that the last missiles used in an attack that happened in Yemen came from US, we have evidence on the ground. The point is that most of the Europe countries are delivering weapons and selling weapons because they absolutely need it for their economy, so we can say that if we compare this phenomenon with the same phenomenon of 20 years ago, for example with the war against Iraq, public opinion is less sensitive on this point, more people in France or Italy they say they don't care about these arms deals, because our people need to stay well, we need factories, we need that Italian and French people, or people living in Germany they have benefits from it, but there's still a part of the public opinion in Europe that is against this, and also this part of public opinion thinks that this position and this arms trade can fuel much more the war in the Middle East, so this point is really important; around this point are all the opposition parties in France against Macron to try to understand exactly how much is the deal and they're asking for more transparency for the government.

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Sputnik: It's been reported that the prince has signed mega contracts in France; what is going to be the impact of those contracts?

Laura Silvia Battaglia: The problem is that as you know France as a country has a very difficult relationship with migrants; immigration in France is a problem, and France is a country that is more under attack because of ISIS [Daesh] (outlawed in Russia). One of the points is that maybe this position would increase the risk of N internal attack and this is something that, of course, people in France don't want.

Sputnik: Since it is so much in the news right now, the situation in Syria, what can you say about this relationship on the background of what's going on in Syria, and what do you think France's contribution or reaction will be to a US decision to make a military strike?

Laura Silvia Battaglia: France is acting in Syria as it acted before with Libya. France is a country that likes to intervene, likes intervention because the grandeur of France is still there, the idea that the nation can do something and should do something also in terms of militarily, France as a country is very well present in NATO and after US inside the countries of Europe, of course, it is the most powerful, so I don't have any doubt that in case something happened France will join the US and will stay as a European country in the first position or the first line in the war.

The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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