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    Syrians walk past a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus on March 15, 2016

    Fillon Considers Dialogue With Assad to Resolve Syria Crisis Possible

    © AFP 2017/ LOUAI BESHARA
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    French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon said President Bashar Assad was supported by a part of the Syrian nation and therefore the West should maintain dialogue with him.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — Former French Prime Minister and current presidential candidate Francois Fillon said on Wednesday that he considers dialogue with Syria's President Bashar Assad possible for the sake of the Syrian crisis resolution.

    "Refusing the idea of having a dialogue with Bashar Assad regime, French and Western diplomacy have excluded themselves from the resolution of the Syrian conflict. Today we… watch how Russians, Turks, Iranians resolve the Syrian issue without our participation," Fillon said on the BFMTV channel.

    The former prime minister stressed that he did not want Assad to remain in power, since the Syrian president was a "bloody dictator," and that he had not encouraged the French lawmakers to pay a visit to Syria on January 5-10.

    Fillon also said that Assad had the support of part of his country's population, which was the reason why Western diplomacy should not have stopped talking to him.

    On Monday, Assad welcomed in an interview with the French media Fillon's statement that the fight against terrorism should be conducted without interference into the internal affairs of a state.

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    The Syrian war, Bashar al-Assad, Francois Fillon, Syria, France
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