Grandson of Gen. Gouraud Apologizes to the Syrians for France's Occupation of Syria

SWEIDA, (ST)- Jean-Louis Gouraud, grandson of French General Henri Gouraud, who led the French army to occupy Syria early in the 20th century, has apologized to the Syrian people for what France had done upon its occupation of Syria, stressing that the French people are not satisfied over their government's colonialist policies, according to the Syrian news Agency SANA.

During a visit along with a French delegation to the monument of the martyrs of the Syrian Great Revolution and the tomb of freedom fighter Sultan Pasha al-Atrash, Louis Gouraud said "My grandfather, General Gouraud, had committed grave mistakes, but successive French governments didn't get the lessons, rather, they continued to practice aggressive policies towards the Syrian people," said the grandson, pointing out that "all the governments which didn't get the lessons will find themselves obliged to apologize for the Syrian people as I am doing now."  

 Louis Gouraud, an author and horse specialist, is currently visiting Syria within delegation of guests participating in activities of al-Sham International Arabian Horse Festival due to kick off activities on Tuesday and it will last for five days with notable international participation.

He stressed that "most European peoples, particularly the French , are not satisfied with the colonialist policies and wars, particularly those waged by the United States on Iraq and currently on Syria," pointing out that several demonstrations were held in Paris to protest the French government's interference in Syria.

"We are here to say that we are against these colonialist policies and that we apologize to the Syrian people," he said.

"Syria has been exposed to several wars throughout history and today it is facing a war launched by terrorist gangs backed by western countries and some Arab regimes. But, we find that the country has triumphed.

On his part, Thaer al-Atrash, Grandson of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash, leader of the Great Syrian Revolution, hailed Jean-Louis Gouraud's initiative towards the Syrian people who defended their land against the French occupation and won independence. He said that the initiative coincides with Syria's celebration of the 73rd Evacuation Day (the evacuation of the last French occupation soldier from Syria."

Earlier in a statement to SANA, Louis Gouraud affirmed that through visiting Syria he want to convey  a message of love from the French people to the Syrian people.

About the situation in Syria, he said that he felt happy for seeing the Syrians enjoying security and peace after eight years of war and destruction.

Hamda Mustafa