France to pressure Russia, China on Syria: Hollande

PARIS Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:21pm EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday he would try again to convince Russia and China to support harder sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in order to break a diplomatic deadlock and prevent more bloodshed.

"I will once more address Russia and China so that they recognize there would be chaos and civil war if Bashar al-Assad isn't soon stopped," Hollande said, speaking to the press during a visit to a farm in the southwestern town of Monlezun.

"The regime of Bashar al-Assad knows it is doomed and so it will use force until the very end," he said. "The role of the member states of the U.N. Security Council is to step in as quickly as possible."

Western powers have thus far been unsuccessful in ending an impasse at the United Nations over further pressure on al-Assad. Earlier this month, Hollande said he was trying to persuade Russia and China to forgo their insistence on shielding the leader from additional sanctions.

(Reporting By Julien Ponthus. Writing by Alexandria Sage)

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