19:35 GMT +313 December 2019
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    In this Sunday, July 26, 2015, file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria.

    France Not Ruling Out Assad Remaining Syrian Leader Until Power Transition

    © AP Photo / SANA
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    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he did not rule out that President Bashar Assad would remain the Syrian leader until the process of political transition in the country is over.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The minister stressed that Assad had to step down after the transition government was established.

    "A united Syria implies a political transition. This is not to say that Assad must go before the transition," Fabius told Le Progres newspaper on Friday.

    Syrian government has been fighting a number of opposition forces, as well as radical Islamist militant organizations, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, also known as ISIL/the Islamic State, since 2011.

    Unlike Russia, the West does not see President Bashar Assad as the country's legitimate leader, and supports the Syrian moderate opposition. French President Francois Hollande has repeatedly stated that Assad could not be a participant of the regulation.

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    Daesh, transitional government, Al-Nusra Front, Laurent Fabius, Syria, France
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