French UN envoy rules out military action in Syria

December 13, 2011 19:02
1 minute read.

PARIS - France's ambassador to the United Nations ruled out using military force for now in Syria saying everything had to be done politically to avoid Syria and the Middle East as a whole being set "ablaze."

"It's is not just the humanitarian situation we have to worry about, but the risk that Syria slides into civil war and that the whole region is set on fire," Gerard Araud told French private television station. "We need a political situation and to put pressure on the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime."

France has led Western efforts to try to force Assad to end the crackdown and has suggested a need to set up zones to protect civilians, the first proposal by a major Western power for outside intervention on the ground.

When asked if France and the United States were thinking of unilateral action or helping train and equip the Free Syrian Army, Araud said:

"For now what is at stake is the action of the Arab League. Every country has a specific set of circumstances. There was Libya, but Syria is completely different. Nobody is thinking of a military solution because the dangers would be huge for the region."

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