“There is no viable and plausible solution other than this binary choice, which is Bashar al-Assad on one hand and the Islamic State on the other hand. Assad is obviously today a much more reassuring solution for France than the Islamic State.”
Marine Le Pen — French presidential candidate
FRANCE — President Francois Hollande insists that Assad should leave office in order to bring peace to Syria. French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen disagrees. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
In late February 2017, Le Pen met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun. (Both Lebanon and Syria are former French protectorates.)
Her talks with Aoun, the only Christian president in the Middle East, included the Syrian refugee crisis and the need to join forces to combat Islamist extremists, Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported.
Lebanon hosts more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees, whose presence has crippled its ailing economy. [Bloomberg]
President Aoun — who was elected late last year — is the only Christian president in the Middle East. Aoun is backed by the Hezbollah, an Iranian ally in the region.
Marine Le Pen is expected to win the fist round of the Presidential election with about 27 % of the votes. But Le Pen is expected to be strongly defeated in the run-off.
DGSE Director Bernard Bajolet does not believe that Syria can survive as the country established after WWII.
“The Middle East we have known is over. We see that Syria is already divided on the ground, that the regime is controlling only a small part of the county, only one-third of the country which was established after WWII. I doubt really that one can come back to the previous situation.”
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PS: Last week, the CIA posted the following quiz:
“There are no less than 21 independent countries that have coastlines on the Mediterranean Sea. Can you name them all? (Consulting the ‘Africa,’ ‘Europe,’ and ‘Middle East’ maps under the Regional and World Maps section of the References tab will allow you to come up with the listing.) Hint: Don’t forget island countries.”