France appointed a new special envoy to Syria on Thursday.
La nomination du nouvel émissaire ne signifie pas dans les relations entre la France et la Syrie, qui restent quasi inexistantes [Getty]</p><div><p>La France a nommé mercredi Brigitte Curmi, ancienne ambassadrice de France à Malte, sa nouvelle envoyée spéciale en Syrie.
France has not had an ambassador in Damascus since the closure of its embassy in 2012, but has since maintained special presidential envoys to oversee the Syrian file.
When appointing its previous emissary François Sénémaud in 2018, a French government spokesperson said the move did not mean France would “reopen its embassy”.
France has contributed to maintaining the diplomatic isolation of the Assad regime at the international level. In 2018, France, along with the United States and the United Kingdom, carried out military strikes in Syria in response to chemical weapons attacks on civilians in the Damascus suburb of Douma.
Following the strikes, France imposed sanctions on individuals involved in the chemical weapons campaign in Syria. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded that chemical weapons had been used at least 17 times in Syria during its civil war, each time by the regime against its own people.
In April, France also introduced a motion to suspend Syria’s membership in the OPCW for its use of chemical weapons.
Before the outbreak of the Syrian revolution and the civil war that followed, France and Syria had close diplomatic and economic relations. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received the Legion of Honor, France’s highest order of merit, in 2001. He returned the award in 2018 after France’s military strikes on the country.