PARIS, April 13 French President Nicolas Sarkozy
said on Friday that he did not believe Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad's declaration of a ceasefire was sincere and that
international observers should be deployed to monitor the
situation in the country.
"I do not believe Bashar al-Assad is sincere," Sarkozy told
news TV channel i>tele in an interview. "Sadly I do not believe
Sarkozy, waging an uphill battle for re-election in a vote
that opens on April 22, said he had discussed the issue with
U.S. President Barack Obama in a conference call on Thursday.
"I believe, and I discussed this yesterday afternoon with
Barack Obama, that at the very least international observers
must be deployed to establish what's going on," he said.
"I firmly believe the international community should live up
to its responsibilities and create the conditions for (setting
up) humanitarian corridors," he said.
Syrian opposition activists called mass protests for Friday
to test a fragile, day-old ceasefire, and international pressure
mounted for Damascus to comply fully with a U.N.-backed peace
Sarkozy and Obama called on Syria on Thursday to adhere
"scrupulously and without conditions" to a U.N.-backed plan to
end the violence in the country.