ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday warned the United States against its plans to leave Syria, pointing to the possibility of Iran filling the void in America’s absence.
In an interview with Fox News ahead of his trip to the US where he will meet with President Donald Trump, Macron emphasized Washington’s important role in the Syrian conflict.
“If we leave…we will leave the floor to the Iranian regime, Bashar al-Assad, and these guys, and they will prepare the new war,” Macron said. “They will fuel the new terrorists.”
“We will have to build a new Syria after [the] war,” he added. “And that’s why I think the US role is very important to play.”
The French leader was referring to comments made by Trump earlier this month when he said at the White House, “I want to get out, I want to bring the troops back home, I want to start rebuilding our nation.”
However, a joint American-French-British air raid on Syrian regime bases blamed for launching chemical weapons has most likely prolonged the US’ presence in Syria.
During a televised interview with several French media outlets following the April 14 airstrikes, Macron said he had convinced his American counterpart “to stay” in Syria.
Iran has supported Syrian President Assad during the country’s years-long civil war.
The French President also discussed the Iranian nuclear agreement with Fox News, noting the US must remain committed to the pact as there is no “plan B.”
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed between Iran, the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, and France in 2015.
Iran signed the deal promising to halt its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions.
US President Trump has often criticized the 2015 deal and has threatened to scrap the current agreement unless new, more stringent restrictions were imposed on Iran by May 12.
Macron encouraged Trump not to leave the JCPOA but called for a stricter position on Iran’s “ballistic missile program and regional containment” instead.