PARIS (AP) Francois Fillon has vowed to make France's voice heard again in the Syrian conflict if he wins the presidential election later this year.
Fillon, the conservative nominee, said in a New Year's speech to press Fillon on Tuesday: "I want us to regain our position as an independent actor whose voice is heard between the Americans and the Russians."
Fillon said the situation in Syria is changing and will leave more space this year for what he called France's "imaginative and active" diplomacy, a reference to Gen. Charles de Gaulle's policy to maintain the country's independence during the Cold War.
Fillon and far-right leader Marine Le Pen currently top polls for the first-round of the April-May presidential election. Socialists will choose their candidate in a Jan. 22-29 primary.
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