Helping the syrian people
France and Syria enjoy long-standing ties. At the end of World War I, France was granted a mandate over Syria. Since independence in 1946, ties have remained strong but relations are sometimes strained because of the Syrian policy in Lebanon. This was especially true in 2004, because of the negative role Syria played in Lebanon. High-level bilateral political relations between our two countries have resumed following the concomitant announcement, on 21 May 2008, of the signing of the Doha Agreement and the existence of indirect negotiations between Syria and Israel under the aegis of Turkey. This change has resulted in a succession of contacts and bilateral visits (President Bachar Al-Assad’s visit on the occasion of the summit of the Union for the Mediterranean on 13 July 2008, visits to France of the Syrian Ministers of Culture and Foreign Affairs, and that of the Vice Prime Minister of Economic Affairs, emissaries sent by the French President to Damascus, Bernard Kouchner’s visit to Syria in late August and then President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit on 3 and 4 September 2008).