In an interview with France’s Europe 1 radio channel Syrian President Bashar Assad gave his thoughts on France’s approach to the war in Syria and commented on Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration which critics have called a ‘Muslim ban’.
Claiming the ban was “not aimed at the Syrian people”, Assad said, “this is aimed at possible terrorists that are hiding among those immigrating to the West. This is what happened in Europe, especially in Germany”.
Criticising French foreign policy in Syria, Assad claimed that France had been “supporting terrorist in Syria from day one”. On a question on what impact the nearing French general election would have on diplomatic relations between the two countries, Assad responded, “our diplomatic relations are not what is important right now. What is important is France’s political line and until now due to its approach, France is directly responsible for the deaths in our country”.
The Syrian president had previously praised the new US President’s commitment to defeating the Islamic State, and with Trump awaiting a new plan to be drawn up by the Pentagon for dealing with the group, Damascus will be hoping for a shift in US policy towards the Assad government.