PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France's will to act to punish Bashar al-Assad's government for an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Hollande told the daily Le Monde in an interview that he supported taking "firm" punitive action over an attack he said had caused "irreparable" harm to the Syrian people and said he would work closely with France's allies.

Asked if France could take action without Britain, Hollande replied: "Yes. Each country is sovereign to participate or not in an operation. That is valid for Britain as it is for France."

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus, Catherine Bremer and Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

 

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