Syria

France Pledges to Recognize a Provisional Government if the Syrian Rebels Choose to Establish One

Hollande is the first western leader to make such a declaration

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French President Francois Hollande has called on the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government, saying his country will recognize it as legitimate.

Hollande's announcement – the first of its kind – creates new diplomatic pressure against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. 

Syria's opposition remains badly fragmented, and it is far from clear whether such a provisional government could be formed anytime soon. But such a statement is seen by many as added incentive for the formation of government.