French government left furious after Syrian official attends Paris conference days after being banned from Brussels meeting

French government left furious after Syrian official attends Paris conference

Ayman Soussan attended a meeting on Syria in the French capital, days after being banned from a similar meeting in Brussels

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

French ministers were outraged after a Syrian government official was invited to a conference to discuss the country's conflict in Paris. 

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Ayman Soussan was invited by Republican lawmakers to a meeting at the Russian cultural centre in the centre of the French capital.

Soussan had previously been banned by the head of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, from attending a similar meeting in Brussels on Monday in response to the chemical attack which killed more than 70 people in Khan Sheikhun last week. 

The invitation infuriated French government ministers. Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, in particular, made his fury known on Twitter. 

The situation in Syria continues to create tension between the West and Russia in the wake of the chemical attack and a US airstrike on the base thought to have launched it.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to Moscow to confront the Kremlin over Russian support for President Bashar al-Assad in the wake of accusations that the Syrian government perpetrated the attack.