France promises to resume contacts with Syria if positive developments occur in Lebanon

By Xinhua,

Beirut : French President Nicolas Sarkozy has expressed the country’s readiness to open a new chapter with Syrian, but vowed no back-down on the international tribunal to try suspects in 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, Lebanese media reported Saturday.

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Sarkozy made the remarks in an interview with Lebanese daily newspapers of As-Safir, An-Nahar and L’Orient-le jour.

“I would resume contacts with Syria only when positive and concrete developments occur in Lebanon,” Sarkozy was quoted as saying.

He revealed in the interview that he contacted Syrian President Bashar Assad and told him that France is determined for truth and justice concerning political assassinations in Lebanon.

“Things are perhaps changing, that is what I would like to see,” the French president said, referring to the election of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and the agreement reached between rival Lebanese factions in the Qatari capital Doha.

Sarkozy arrived in Beirut earlier on Saturday morning for one-day state-visit to Lebanon, becoming the first Western head of state to meet newly-elected Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, who took office on May 25.