–France lauds Syrian move

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France  has congratulated Syria for appointing a prime minister to run an interim government.

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Mr Ghassan Hitto has been appointed prime minister of the interim government.

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This is according to a statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today by Premier Conseilier of the French Embassy  Laurent Oriol.

Mr Oriol said his government was convinced that the election of Mr Hitto by the Syrian National Coalition will help unify the opposition and strengthen its cohesion under the auspices of the coalition and its president Mr Moaz Al-Khatib.

He said while the situation continued to deteriorate in Syria, France would like to see the appointment enhance the capacity of the coalition to help the Syrian people prepare for political change and work toward building a free and democratic Syria.

Mr Oriol also welcomed the appointment of Ms Mary Robison as a UN special Envoy for the great lakes region by UN Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon.

He said France supported the initiative as it will likely reinforce the international community’s participation in the search for a long lasting solution in the region.

The appointment of Ms Robinson is one the provisions set out in the peace, security and cooperation framework for the Democractic Republic of Congo and the region signed in Addis Ababa on Feburary 24 2013.

Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba signed the agreement on behalf of the Zambian government when he represented President Michael Sata at the conference.

Meanwhile, Mr Oriol has commended Zimbabwe for conducting a smooth, calm and transparent constitutional referendum on March 16 2013 which he said marks an important stage in the political process to resolve the crisis and advance reconciliation initiated in 2008.

He expressed hope that this would now allow Zimbabwe hold  parliamentary and presidential elections that are recognised by the international community as well as normalise relations between the southern African country and its partners.

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