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Saturday August 31, 2013 MYT 5:30:02 PM
Saturday August 31, 2013 MYT 5:31:05 PM
French President Francois Hollande and Ahmad Jarba (R), head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, speak to journalists in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace in Paris, August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
PARIS (Reuters) - Most French people do not want France to take part in military action on Syria and most do not trust French President Francois Hollande to do so, a poll showed on Saturday.
The United States said on Friday it would punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government for a chemical attack that it says killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus last week, and Hollande said Britain's parliamentary vote against military strikes would not affect France's own actions.
The BVA poll released by Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui en France, showed 64 percent of respondents opposed military action, 58 percent did not trust Hollande to conduct it, and 35 percent feared it could "set the entire region (Middle East) ablaze".
Two other opinion polls published this week, and carried out after the gas attack, indicated lukewarm support among French voters for military intervention in Syria.
Hollande, whose popularity has been hurt by economic gloom, showed unexpected military mettle when he dispatched troops to help Mali's government fend off Islamist rebels earlier this year, an intervention backed by two-thirds of the public.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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