French, Iran leaders discuss regime attacks in Syria
French President Emmanuel Macron Sunday called on his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to put pressure on Bashar al-Assad regime to end the "indiscriminate" attacks on Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta region and allow access of humanitarian aid.
In a phone conversation, Macron urged Rouhani "to exert the necessary pressure on the Syrian regime to put an end to the indiscriminate attacks against the besieged population of Eastern Ghouta, to allow humanitarian access and evacuate the critical medical cases," according to a statement issued by French presidency.
Macron "underlined the special responsibility incumbent on Iran, because of its links with the [Assad] regime, in the implementation of the humanitarian truce voted by the UN Security Council 2401 Resolution."
The two presidents have agreed to work together in the coming days with the UN, the Assad regime and the main countries engaged in Syria "to deliver ... necessary assistance to civilians and to implement the ceasefire."
The attacks carried out by the Assad regime and its supporters in Eastern Ghouta have killed more than 700 civilians since Feb.19.
Eastern Ghouta has been under siege for the last five years; humanitarian access to the area, which is home to 400,000 people, has been completely cut off.
In the past eight months, Assad regime forces have intensified their siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.
The French president recalled his country's concerns related to the Iranian missile program and regional security issues, especially in Lebanon and called for "clear" responses.
France also expects Iran to make a "constructive contribution" to solving crises in the Middle East, the statement said.
The exchange between the two leaders comes on the eve of Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's trip to Tehran.
Earlier on Sunday, Le Drian also said Iran needed to address concerns over its ballistic missile program or risk new sanctions.