20:57 GMT21 June 2021
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    Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppe, two top candidates for presidential nomination of The Republicans party, want France to engage more with Russian and Syrian governments, the party’s member Jacques Myard told Sputnik on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — "I do believe that cooperation with Russia is inevitable to solve conflicts in the region," Myard said, adding he also advocated resuming diplomatic relations with Syrian government. "In fact, Sarkozy and Juppe want to change the French foreign policy on those two subjects," he noted.

    The center-right lawmaker said France and Russia had a common enemy, which is the Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist group, outlawed in both countries, and accused the incumbent Socialist government of being deadlocked on the Middle East and Russia.

    "Unfortunately, current French policy in the Middle East and toward Russia is in a deadlock position. I advocate for lifting anti-Russia sanctions that are counterproductive and finding a solution in Syria that is why I have travelled twice to Crimea and to Damascus to meet with Bashar Assad," he concluded.

    France will elect a successor to President Francois Hollande next spring. Hollande is eligible to run, although opinion polls suggest his chances of winning are slim. In 2014, his administration joined EU-wide sanctions against Russia over its reunification with Crimea and announced a military operation against Daesh in Syria in November of that year.


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