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France’s Defense Minister to Give Priority to Diplomacy in Syria

France will give priority to diplomatic methods in Syria and would only consider sending troops as part of a political transition once President Bashar al-Assad leaves, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Le Parisien.

France won’t participate in an international peacekeeping mission without a vote by the United Nations Security Council, Le Drian told the French daily. He said there are no operations currently being considered.

France has begun withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan and will have no fighting units left there by the end of the year, Le Drian said.

There are no additional job cuts planned at the Ministry of Defense, though the unit will reduce its administrative costs, Le Drian said.

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