Exclusive: French PM discusses Syria, Egypt

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France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot be the solution to Syria’s almost five-year crisis.

In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya News Channel, Valls said: “Yet, we believe that president Bashar will not be the solution … any solution to the Syrian crisis must bring together the Syrian people with the support of the neighboring countries, and this solution will not pass through Bashar al-Assad.”

Valls is currenlty on a tour of several Middle Eastern countries which began on Saturday in Cairo with the signing of a deal with Egypt to sell two helicopter carriers.

On Egypt, Valls said France’s relations with Cairo is of strategic importance.

“Egypt is the door of the Near and Middle East and Africa, and it is a country that we want to have strong ties with,” he said.

It is an important country in the region, he emphasized, adding that the two countries have exceptional relations due to history and culture.

Valls was received by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi before going into a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sharif Ismail.

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