The French government said Monday that it had “noted with interest” the statement this weekend by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in which he committed to lifting the decades-old State of Emergency in his country.
The strict security laws have been in place in Syria since the early 1950s and their repeal has been one of the major demands of Syrian protesters.
“We want these announcements to be implemented effectively, which must mean a halt to repression, the release of all prisoners of opinion and the respect for the freedom to demonstrate, as addressed by the Syrian President in his speech,” the French Foreign Ministry said.
French officials said that, “more broadly”, Paris wants “an inclusive political dialogue” to be undertaken in Syria in order to answer the aspirations of the Syrian people “and contribute in this way to the stability of the country, which is in the interest of all.”
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero indicated that France’s position on violence was “constant” throughout the whole crisis.
“We condemn violence. We cannot accept that forces of law and order use live ammunition on demonstrators. This is a constant position as stressed by the President of the Republic on March 24,” Valero remarked.