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SOS Chrétiens d’Orient – Q&A – Excerpt from the daily press briefing (24 September 2020)

Q : In Syria, the French NGO SOS Chrétiens d’Orient is, according to Mediapart, supporting pro-Assad Christian militia groups and funding agencies associated with Bashar al-Assad’s regime, with which France has broken off diplomatic relations. This association is also a “partner organization in national defense” of the Ministry for the Armed Forces. Was the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs aware of the NGO’s activities and if so, did it inform the Ministry for the Armed Forces? Have you been contacted by the American authorities (in this regard) within the framework of the new Caesar Act targeted against the regime’s supporters?

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France and Syria

Political relations

Following the repression of a peaceful protest movement by the Damascus regime, France has ceased official contacts with the Syrian authorities since 2012.

Find out more on the position of France in the Syrian conflict

French presence

French consulates (closed since March 2012): Damascus, Aleppo.

The violent situation in Syria led the French President to announce the closure of France’s Embassy in Damascus on 2 March 2012.

Visits

Multilateral events

  • European Union “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” Conference in Brussels (14 March 2019).
  • Syria summit of France, Germany, Russia and Turkey in Istanbul (27 October 2018).

Bilateral events

  • Meeting of the President of the French Republic with representatives of the Syrian Democratic Forces on 19 April 2019.
  • Meeting of the French President with representatives of the Syrian opposition, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (September 2018).
  • Meeting of the President of the French Republic with representatives of the Syrian Democratic Forces on 29 March 2018.

Ambassadors

The Embassy of France in Syria has been closed since 2012.

France is represented in international negotiations to seek a political solution by Mr François Sénémaud, Personal Representative of the President of the Republic and Ambassador for Syria.

Updated: January 2020