Takieddine’s meeting with Assad ahead of Syrian dictator’s trip to Paris

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On July 7th 2008, one week before President Bashar al-Assad’s ceremonious official visit to Paris, Takieddine travelled to Damascus to meet with the Syrian dictator in person. The message he transmitted was, according to his own notes, to make clear that the invitation to Assad was "on France’s part an attempt to bring Syria back to the Western and democratic ‘cradle’". He underlined that, in return, "the Syrian head of state needs a relationship of personal confidence with the French President". Takieddine noted that the Syrian dictator told him that "in the same way that the French President is concerned about the perception that French public opinion will have of the Syrian President’s visit to France, Arab opinion also watches with much attention what will result from the visit".

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