US laments death of French journalist in Syria

11th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

The United States expressed dismay Wednesday over the death of a French journalist in Syria, adding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had failed to provide an environment hospitable to the media.

"Assuming that these reports are accurate, we regret that loss of life," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

The French government demanded an investigation after French television reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed in the Syrian city of Homs, a center of opposition to the Assad regime.

According to an AFP reporter at the scene, a shell exploded amid a group of journalists covering demonstrations in the city on a visit organized by the authorities. Several others were reported wounded.

Nuland raised concerns about the situation for journalists in Syria.

"We've been concerned and we've been very clear that, far from meeting his commitments to the Arab League, President Assad has continued to perpetrate violence against his own people and has not provided an environment hospitable to journalists, hospitable to peaceful protest," she said.

Nuland has said repeatedly that Assad must meet the commitments Syria made to the Arab League to end the violence, withdraw heavy weapons from cities, admit journalists, free political prisoners and allow for a real political dialogue.

© 2012 AFP

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