France demands UN protection for Syria 'liberated zones'

President of France Francois Hollande addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

UNITED NATIONS: France's President Francois Hollande on Tuesday called for UN protection for "liberated zones" under opposition control in Syria.

Hollande also told the UN General Assembly that France would recognize an opposition government when it is formed.

The socialist president made the call in a wide-ranging speech on the security threats around the world. He said France would not accept Iran's rejection of UN demands on its nuclear drive, and also called for urgent action on the Islamist takeover in northern Mali.

Hollande said that Syria was the main international emergency.

He said the United Nations must give Syrians the support and assistance they have requested, "in particular that liberated zones be protected and that humanitarian aid be assured for refugees."

Hollande added that President Bashar al-Assad and his government should be warned that the international community will act if they use chemical weapons.





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