Damascus: Syria has returned France the prestigious Legion d’honneur that it gave to President Bashar al-Assad in 2001.
The office of French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that “a disciplinary procedure for withdrawing the Legion d’honneur (Legion of Honour) is underway”, reported France 24.
Former French President Jacques Chirac decorated Syria’s Bashar al-Assad with the Legion’s highest rank of the Great Cross in 2001 after taking office.
The award was returned to France via the Romanian embassy in Damascus.
The move comes as France participated in the US-led coalition and launched strikes in Syria over an alleged chemical weapons attack.
According to the report, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said, “The ministry of foreign affairs… has returned to the French republic… the decoration of the Grand Croix of the Legion d’honneur awarded to President Assad.”
France grants the Legion d’honneur to around 3,000 people a year, including 400 foreigners recognised for their “services rendered to France” or for defending human rights, press freedom or other causes.