France: Syrian defector Tlas in talks with opposition

July 12, 2012 16:49


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PARIS - Syrian general Manaf Tlas, a former friend and ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad who fled Damascus last week, is in contact with Syrian opposition rebels, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday.

"I know the opposition and this general have approached each other ... contact has been made," Fabius told reporters in Paris.

Tlas, a member of Syria's Sunni Muslim majority, fled late last week and was reported to be on his way to Paris to join his family.

His father, Mustapha, defense minister under Assad's father for 30 years, lives in the French capital, as does his sister, the widow of a wealthy Saudi arms dealer.

However, Fabius said he could not confirm whether Tlas was in France.

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