Russia and France Join Forces to Combat Terrorism

Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin
Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Thursday in the Kremlin with President of the French Republic Francois Hollande, who is in Russia on a working visit.

Besides exchanging views on bilateral issues, the two leaders discussed the counterterrorism efforts. Of late, both France and Russia suffered major damages in separate terror attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Recently, ISIS claimed responsibility for the Nov. 13 Paris attacks in which 132 people died. Earlier, when the Russian airstrikes hit ISIS in Syria, the ISIS militants succeeded in downing a Russian passenger plane in retaliation, resulting in the deaths of 224 passengers.

“The barbaric attack on Russia’s airplane over the Sinai Peninsula, the horrible events in Paris and the terrorist attacks in Lebanon, Nigeria and Mali have left many people dead, including hundreds of Russian and French citizens. This is our common tragedy and we stand united in our commitment to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” Putin said after his meeting with Hollande.

[ Also Read: NATO Supports Turkey for Shooting Down Russian Warplane ]

Putin revealed that Russia has intensified the Russian Armed Forces operation against Syrian terrorists and the militants from the so-called Islamic State and other radical groups are suffering heavy losses.

Putin hoped that eradicating terrorism in Syria will create the necessary conditions for achieving a final and long-term settlement of the Syrian crisis.

France and Russia have agreed to work together within the framework of the International Syria Support Group and promote the fulfilment of all agreements reached within this group, including the deadlines and parameters for holding intra-Syrian talks.

Commenting on the situation in Ukraine, Putin said he has discussed with his French counterpart the prospects of cooperating in the Normandy format. “We will continue to insist on the implementation of all provisions of the Minsk Agreements of February 12,” Putin confirmed.

Photo courtesy: Kremlin

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Rakesh Raman