February 9, 2018 / 1:03 PM / in 8 months

France's Macron presses Putin to push for end to Syria crisis

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday pressed Russia’s Vladimir Putin to do all he can to ensure the Syrian government puts an end to a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in eastern Ghouta and Idlib, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a Trianon Council meeting (Conseil de coordination du dialogue de Trianon) aiming to strenghten the links between France and Russia at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Febuary 9, 2018. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

In a telephone call, Macron told Putin it was imperative that peace talks made progress and expressed his concern over signs that chlorine bombs had been against civilians in recent weeks.

“The president stressed the need to overcome obstacles blocking negotiations and start a credible political process in the coming weeks under the auspice of the United Nations towards rebuilding peace, stability and unity in Syria,” the French presidency statement said.

Standing beside Putin in Versailles last summer, Macron said any use of chemical weapons represented a “red line” and that Paris could launch unilateral air strikes against targets in Syria if it were crossed.

Reporting by John Irish and Richard Lough; editing by Michel Rose

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