As a diplomat, however, it is an asset, allowing him to speak directly to the French about their unhappy history with chemical warfare during World War One as one reason why the French government is sensitive to its alleged use in Syria. “Some of the very first lethal chemical weapons attacks happened here, on French soil, during the First World War and a large number of these victims of these deadly, indiscriminate weapons were young French soldiers, just 19 or 20 years old,” he said. Fabius, an experienced politician best known for having been France’s youngest prime minister, showed a rare moment of intensity and outrage about an August 21 attack in Syria in which the Syrian government is accused of using sarin gas. Syria, embroiled in a 2-1/2-year-old civil war in which more than 100,000 are believed to have died, denies that. “You have to look at the images of these children in rows with the shrouds over them, not an injury, not a drop of blood? And they are there and they are sleeping forever,” Fabius said, visibly shaken. “There’s a dictator who did it and is ready to start again,” he said gesticulating with his fists. “This concerns us, too. You can’t say that globalization is everywhere except for terrorism and chemical weapons.” As if to underscore their countries’ ties, Kerry and Fabius went for a walk outside the Foreign Ministry on a pleasant Paris evening, where, later, the sky to the west was lit with gold and to the east by a rainbow. “France and the United States stand shoulder to shoulder. Some ask why? Just look at history.
Kerry delivers a love letter to France, in French
BST Where: Central Stadium, Gomel, Belarus Live Stream: ESPN3 (US) Odds (courtesy of Paddy Power) Belarus win: 6/1 Top Storyline: The Health of Franck Ribery Scott Heavey/Getty Images There’s almost no chance France lose this match. They’re too good, and there’s too much on the line for them to fall asleep against Belarus. However, Didier Deschamps’ job could be harder if he’s without Franck Ribery. According to French football journalist Julien Laurens, Ribery’s status for the match is up in the air: Ribery is still a doubt. Deschamps: “He still has a pain. He will train alone tonight. Will take the decision if ge plays or not tomorrow.” Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) September 9, 2013 Not having a player of that quality could be a detriment. The Bayern Munich winger had a fantastic season and won the UEFA Best Player in Europe as a result. While his national team form has never quite matched his club form, Ribery makes France better whenever he’s on the pitch. 9.1% Total votes: 11 France will be smarting from their 0-0 draw against Georgia. It’s all but doomed them to finishing second in Group I. Belarus should get the brunt of France’s frustration. Les Bleus will not be looking past their opponents this time around. They’ll be highly motivated and ready for a huge performance.
France says Assad must accept international control of chemical arms
Secretary of State John Kerry at the Quai d’Orsay Foreign Ministry after their meeting in Paris September 7, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Jacky Naegelen PARIS | Mon Sep 9, 2013 3:46pm EDT PARIS (Reuters) – France said on Monday that a Russian proposal to have Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hand over his chemical weapons arsenal was acceptable only if it came after a U.N. Security Council resolution spelling out consequences if he failed to comply. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, seizing on a remark by his U.S. counterpart, suggested the handover as an alternative to strikes to punish the Syrian government over an August 21 chemical weapons attack. “The proposal of the Russian foreign minister… is worthy of close scrutiny,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement. “It would be acceptable under at least three conditions.” Fabius said that Assad would have to place his chemical arsenal under international control quickly and allow it to be destroyed, and that the operation should take place quickly after a Security Council resolution. Also, those responsible for carrying out the attack would have to be brought before the International Criminal Court to face prosecution for their crimes, he added. France has pressed forcefully for strikes to punish Assad’s government over the chemical attack despite opposition from Russia, but has said it could only intervene if the United States led the way. Fabius said that “rapid, serious and verifiable” commitments were needed from the Syrian government if France was to accept the Russian handover proposal – which the United States has so far greeted with skepticism. (Reporting By Nicholas Vinocur; editing by Mike Collett-White)