07:53 GMT29 February 2020
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    Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron’s stance on the Syrian crisis will be less biased and less ostentatious than that of incumbent national leader Francois Hollande, according to Ali Murad, a specialist in Arab studies and professor at the Beirut Arab University.

    On Sunday, France held the second round of the presidential election, between independent Emmanuel Macron, the leader of the "En Marche!" movement, and Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front.

    According to information from the Interior Ministry, Macron won the run-off with 66.1 percent of the votes, while his rival Le Pen gained 33.9 percent.

    According to Murad, Paris’s policy towards the Syrian government would definitely have changed if Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the "Unsubmissive France" movement, center-right candidate François Fillon or Marine Le Pen had won the election.

    The expert pointed out that those three French politicians have almost the same positions towards the legitimate Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, as well as towards the need for cooperation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

    "But Macron won the election, and he will keep the same policy towards Syria, as Francois Hollande. However, Macron will be less focused on Syria and his stance on the Syrian crisis will be less biased than that of Hollande," Murad said in an interview with Sputnik.

    His suggestion was echoed by Ziad Majed, a political analyst at the American University of Paris.

    "He will continue Hollande’s policy in Syria, but he will be more cautious. Macron will wait for what Washington will do in Syria," Majed told Sputnik.

    He added that Macron’s priority in Syria would be the fight against terrorism, but without recognizing Assad as a partner in this fight.

    Earlier in April, during an electoral debate, Macron expressed his readiness to tackle terrorism in France and abroad, including in Syria. The politician also welcomed the United States-led anti-Daesh campaign and promised that he would, if elected, join Washington in airstrikes on Syrian government infrastructure allegedly used to stock chemical weapons.

    According to Murad, in terms of importance for Arab nations, the French presidential election comes second after the elections in the United States last year. Arabs and Muslims living in Europe were concerned about the fact that a far-right candidate reached the second round of the French presidential election.

    "They were concerned that far-right politicians could come to power in other European countries. As a result, all those people are now much more involved in politics than before," he said.


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