Syria Live Blog
France would recognise Syrian opposition govt, Hollande says
French President Francois Hollande is calling on Syria's opposition to form a provisional government and says France would recognise it once such a government is formed.
Hollande's announcement in a speech Monday to France's ambassadors amounts to new diplomatic pressure against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime amid escalating bloodshed in the country.
Hollande's announcement, believed to be the first of its kind, appeared aimed to give an impetus to the creation of such a government.
"France asks the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government - inclusive and representative - that can become the legitimate representative of the new Syria,'' Hollande said.
"We are including our Arab partners to accelerate this step,'' he told hundreds of diplomats and dignitaries at the presidential palace.
"France will recognize the provisional government of Syria once it is formed.''
Hollande also took issue with Russian and Chinese reticence about reaching tougher language against Assad's regime, saying "their attitude weakens our ability to carry out the mandate conferred on us by the UN charter.''
Syria's opposition has been plagued by divisions and infighting since the start of the uprising last year, and a formation of a transitional government is fraught with difficulties.