France was the first country to recognize Libya’s transitional coalition government, and actively led the charge for foreign intervention in the country’s recent ousting of former president Muammar Gaddafi (killed last month.)
Now the Telegraph is reporting French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has joined the Turkish government in calling for tougher economic sanctions, and possible military action, in troubled Syria:
“Speaking alongside Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, he said he doubted that Syria would respond positively to an Arab League peace plan proposal. The regional body earlier this week suspended Syria because of its brutal repression of its civilians.
As a first step towards sanctions at the UN, France, Britain and Germany plan to ask the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee to approve a resolution condemning the violence in Syria, before putting the non-binding measure to a vote in an Assembly plenary session.”
The UN estimates that over 3,500 people have been killed in Syria since clashes between civilians and President Bashar al-Assad began eight months ago. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has also called for the international community to crack down on Assad’s regime, according to the National Post:
“‘We will increase the pressure on the Assad regime,’ he said, adding that he had spoken to the Arab League after Assad ignored its Saturday deadline to pull the military out of urban centres, free political prisoners and start a dialogue.”
Is it a good time for France to get involved in another Middle Eastern conflict?
Read more about French foreign policy in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique.