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Syria - Aug 4, 2011 - 13:09

Last modified: 4 Aug 2011 10:09

France has called President Assad's decree allowing opposition parties a "provocation", saying he should instead stop his deadly crackdown on democracy protests.

"In a manner that lacks credibility... the Syrian regime recently announced the authorisation of multi-party politics. This is almost a provocation," Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told French radio.

He said that "what we want is an end to the violence against the civilian  population which is only defending its rights."

Juppe warned that "if nothing changes in Syria," France may seek further action from the UN Security Council, which on Wednesday condemned the deadly crackdown and said those responsible should be held accountable.