Syrian President Bashar al-Assad returned to France his National Order of the Legion of Honor medal that he received from former French President Jacques Chirac in 2001, Le Parisien reports. According to representatives of the Syrian administration, it was returned because of France's participation in the "trilateral aggression" against Syria.
The Syrian leader pre-empted the French authorities who had announced earlier that they would start the procedure for recalling the award from President Assad. Le Parisien noted that in 2001, al-Assad was awarded with the Grand Cross, the highest possible rank for members of the Order.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants formally returned to the French Republic through the Romanian Embassy in Damascus, representing the interests of France in Syria, the National Order of the Legion of Honor given to President Assad by former French President Jacques Chirac," the official statement of the Syrian administration says.
"There is no honor for President Assad in wearing a reward from a regime that is slaved to the United States," the Syrian authorities state.