Macron says he 'convinced' Trump to stay in Syria ahead of strikes

Lionel Bonaventure POOL AFP | Former French president François Hollande at the Elsyée Palace in Paris

"We convinced him that it was necessary to stay", Macron said during a two-hour televised interview with several French media outlets.

After the US, France and Britain launched missile strikes on the country over an alleged chemical gas attack, the French president noted that Western top priority is preparing "a long-term political alternative which will allow a transition in a constitutional framework". (Though it should be said that Macron is one of the few non-authoritarian leaders Trump seems to respect.) In any case, the claim is testament to the depth of Trump's remarkable capriciousness on all matters, including those that concern the life and death of American soldiers.

While it is unusual for a French president to present himself as driving USA policy on military matters in the Middle East, Macron and Trump have developed a friendly relationship over the past year.

However, Mr Macron was keen to emphasise that "we have not declared war on the regime of Bashar al-Assad" following the strike.

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"We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term". The US, UK and French strikes must "restore the absolute ban on chemical weapons, which is engraved in the marble of worldwide conventions", Mr Delattre said.

In France, Macron is facing the worst labor unrest of his presidency so far, with strikes that halted two-thirds of French trains Saturday and weeks more of walkouts to come.

Although interview was agreed for some time, meeting served President to speak for first time to French since coordinated attack with United States and United Kingdom against chemical weapons targets in Syria. "They have not used chlorine themselves but they have methodically built the global community's inability to act through diplomatic channels to stop the use of chemical weapons", he said.

"We had reached a time when this attack was indispensable to restore credibility of word of global community", especially to Russian Federation, he said, and also to or key worldwide partners in any way Politics in Syria: Iran and Turkey, he stressed.

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Macron said his scheduled trip to Moscow next month would be maintained despite divergence on the Syrian crisis. The U.N. Security Council met to debate the strikes, but rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the three Western allies.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was decried for not seeking parliamentary approval for Saturday's coordinated airstrikes.

Macron, criticised by the far-left and far-right and part of the conservatives over the attacks, said France, Britain and the United States had "complete worldwide legitimacy to act".

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