|Syria rebukes France for supporting rebels||
AMMAN (AP) — Syria lashed out at France on Sunday for backing the rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar Assad, saying Paris' growing support for the opposition does nothing but undermine the mission of the new UN envoy tasked with brokering a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
France, Syria's one-time colonial ruler, has been one of the most outspoken Western critics of the Assad regime, and announced earlier this month that it has begun sending direct aid and money to five rebel-held Syrian cities as part of its intensified efforts to weaken Assad.
Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi accused France on Sunday of suffering from “schizophrenia” in its approach to the country's conflict.
“On the one hand, it supports Brahimi's mission, while at the same time it makes statements demonstrating that it supports the militarization of the crisis in Syria,” Makdessi told The Associated Press.
French officials have acknowledged providing communications and other equipment to Syrian rebel forcest.
Makdessi said Sunday that Syria is “fully committed to cooperating with Brahimi,” adding that “the only way to make Brahimi's mission a success is the cooperation of all parties to enable him to bring about calmness and then the political process.”
Makdessi was implicitly referring to France and Arab countries, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which Damascus accuses of supporting the rebel Free Syrian Army fighting Assad's military onslaught.
Makdessi said the only way to end the Syrian conflict is a “cease-fire by all parties.” He said Assad's army will pull out from the streets “once there is a political process as it is now in a state of self-defense and to protect the civilians.”
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