France to shut Syria embassy, awaits UN mandate to act

March 2, 2012 13:50

BRUSSELS - President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday that France would shut its Syrian embassy due to the repression of opposition to President Bashar al-Assad and was ready to step up its support of rebels if the United Nations can give a green light.

"We will do nothing without a UN Security Council resolution," Sarkozy told a news conference at a European summit in Brussels, noting France supported the creation of a humanitarian zone close to one of Syria's borders.

"There's no question of acting directly or indirectly unless the Council has established legal conditions for a humanitarian zone, for arms delivery for the opposition or for corridors."

He said it was "frustrating, when you are seeing the deaths mounting up" but warned that perpetrators of crimes against humanity would be taken before the international criminal court.

"Dictators will all, one day, have to pay for their actions," said Sarkozy.

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