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Macron says Assad’s removal no longer priority in solving Syrian crisis

BERLIN, June 21. /TASS/. The removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is no longer a priority in finding a solution to the Syrian crisis, as it is necessary to focus on the fight against terrorism, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with a number of European newspapers.

"I no longer view Assad’s removal as a precondition for anything, since I don’t see anyone who could become his legitimate successor," Macron said. He also called for drawing up a new plan for Syria, which would make the fight against terror groups a priority.

"They are our enemies," he stressed noting that in order to effectively counter terrorists, there was a need for "all parties, particularly Russia, to cooperate."

At the same time, Macron said that the use of chemical weapons was a red line for him, in case this happened, France was ready to interfere and deliver airstrikes even without the US support. "If there is evidence proving the use of chemical weapons, and we know where the weapons come from, then France will respond with airstrikes in order to destroy the depots," Macron said.