Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Versailles. During talks the two leaders discussed a number of issues ranging from bilateral relations to the situations in Syria, Ukraine, Libya and the Korean Peninsula.
The two leaders met for the first time and their talks lasted almost three hours. Macron said that “Franco-Russian friendship” was at heart of his meeting with Putin.
The French president said that serious international problems cannot be resolved without Moscow, as he stressed the importance of the role Russia plays in the modern world.
“No major problem in the world can be solved without Russia,” he said during the press conference.
He also said that France is interested in intensifying cooperation with Russia, particularly in resolving the Syrian crisis. The French leader went on to say that this issue demands “an inclusive political solution.”
Macron said that fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) remains an “absolute priority” for France and serves as one of the reasons for the reinforcement of cooperation with Russia.
At the same time, he also said that the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” that should not be crossed, adding that the use of such weapons in Syria would trigger a “reprisal” from France.
President Putin said that Russia and France are determined to cooperate in resolving the crises in Syria, Ukraine and the Korean Peninsula, as well as to fight terrorism together. The Russian leader added that he and Macron had particularly agreed to establish a working group on fighting terrorism.