Iran’s nuclear drive irritates Franco-Syrian ties: KouchnerJuly 12th, 2009 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS
Damascus, July 12 (DPA) French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, speaking to reporters from Damascus Sunday, admitted that France and Syria were “not in full agreement” on Iran’s nuclear programme.
“We are not in full agreement on how to handle the Iranian nuclear file, but it was very useful to listen to the Syrian point of view on this matter,” Kouchner said after meeting his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moallem and President Bashar al-Assad.
But he also stressed the importance of the Franco-Syrian relationship, saying he hoped to build on the economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
“We have restored the relationship of trust with Syria since President al-Assad’s visit to France, and President Nicolas Sarkozy’s and my visits to Syria in the summer of 2008,” Kouchner said in remarks published in the Damascus-based al-Watan newspaper.
These improved relations “must be reflected more on the economic level,” he said.
“Much has already been done,” Kouchner said, citing plans to open an office of the French agency for international development in Syria, a bilateral tax agreement, and efforts to help Syrian companies internationally.
“We helped Syria improve its position in the international markets. You know that companies are interested in working in the Syrian market, and we have established a club for businessmen in order to enhance this dimension of cooperation,” he said.
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