According to the French prime minister, Syria has "fulfilled its commitments to Lebanon", so its president deserves to share the podium with the French President to celebrate freedom on July 14th.
Because nothing inspires freedom and independence like the Assad regime.
And unbeknownst to the stupid Lebanese who mistook Sarkozy for a committed and sane ally, Bashar had "commitments" towards their country that he chose not to temporarily fulfill, allowing death and mayhem to descend on it from the heavens.
French Prime Minister Francios Fillon said Thursday that Damascus had fulfilled its commitments on the issue of the political crisis in Lebanon, and for this reason Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been invited to attend France's national day military parade on the Champs Elysees after a Paris summit next month.
"Syria has fulfilled its obligations regarding the conflict in Lebanon," Fillon said in response to the criticism launched against the invitation by leftist officials. He was referring to the international community's demand that Syria, which supports Hizbullah's influence in Lebanon, would not thwart the election of Michel Suleiman as the country's president after many months of political turmoil in which Lebanon remained without a leader.
According to Fillon, Syria's presence at the event is important to its theme, which is the promotion of peace in the region. "It is imperative that all of the Middle Eastern countries sit at the table together," he said. Paris has moved to re-launch contacts with Damascus since the election of Suleiman last month. Visiting Beirut last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said a "new page may be opening in relations between France and Syria."
Assad is among 50 heads of state and government invited to the July 13 summit on the launch of a new Mediterranean Union, championed by Sarkozy as France takes over the European Union presidency. Experts say Sarkozy is hoping Assad's presence will boost the launch of the Mediterranean Union project, which has received a lukewarm welcome from some European and Arab states. (AFP)
Reporters Without Borders isn't impressed with the invitation.
“Nicolas Sarkozy is breaking one commitment after another,” the press freedom organisation said. “After welcoming Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with open arms in Paris on 10 December, Human Rights Day, and singing the praises of the Tunisian regime in April, he is now going to celebrate 14 July, which is supposed to be in honour of independence and freedom, next to the president of one of the world’s most repressive regimes.
“How far is Sarkozy ready to go to promote his Mediterranean Union project? What new concessions will he make to the Libyan leader to get him to support this project? When he was running for president, Sarkozy put human rights at the heart of his programme. He said that, with him as president, talks would be much firmer especially, as regards Russia and China. Today we are far, very far, from these commitments. President Sarkozy, like others before him, is pursing a realpolitik at the expense of the values France is supposed to embody.”