The return of Syria on the international scene

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A more positive international environment

The invitation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the top of the Union
for the Mediterranean (UPM) and the military parade of July 14, 2008
on the Champs-Elysees, marked a break with the legacy of President
Jacques Chirac, at odds with Damascus since the assassination in February 2005
Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, in which the top of
Syrian government was implicated. If no probative evidence of such involvement
have been made to date, the very personal relationship that the Hariri family
speaks with former French President were, by cons, largely
commented: many grants French political campaigns and
various personal benefits (including the luxurious Parisian apartment made
provision of Jacques Chirac at the end of his presidential term by son
the late Saudi-Lebanese business man, not to mention the existence of
secret bank accounts in Japan) in exchange for several contributions
of France to refinance the Lebanese public debt (Paris Club)
for the benefit of businesses run by the Hariri family.

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