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France should act "responsibly" on Syria, former PM says

Last modified: 1 Sep 2013 18:45

France risks being seen as the "trailer" to the American vehicle in case of an intervention, Francois Fillon, a former French prime minister, warned over the weekend.

He said France should act "responsibly" and not follow anyone into an attack "even if they are our friends and allies, the Americans."

"The region is a powder-keg," Fillon commented.

Francois Hollande, the French president, who appears determined to launch imminent strikes on Syria, is hamstrung by the United States - which has delayed taking action - and growing domestic opposition to military intervention.

Hollande, whose country unilaterally intervened in Mali to prevent religiously conservative armed groups from proceeding south towards the country's capital, has repeatedly voiced his determination to "punish" President Bashar al-Assad's regime for alleged chemical weapons attacks on August 21.