France, Russia discuss Syria 'coordination'

Russia military chief discusses Syria 'coordination' with French counterpart

France, Russia discuss Syria 'coordination'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russia's chief of general staff held talks with his French counterpart on Thursday on combating the ISIL group in Syria, in the first such contact since the start of the Ukraine conflict last year.

Valery Gerasimov and Pierre de Villiers "discussed on the phone the coordination of military troops' actions against ISIL terrorists in Syria," the Russian defence ministry said in a statement, adding that the conversation lasted an hour.

The two military chiefs "exchanged their evaluations of the current situation in the country" following calls to unite efforts against ISIL group by presidents Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande.

"The terrorist acts in Paris and on board of the Russian passenger plane are links of one chain," Gerasimov was shown by state television as saying on the phone to his French colleague.

"Our grief and our wrath must help join efforts of Russia and France in the fight against international terrorism."

Putin on Tuesday ordered his navy in the eastern Mediterranean to cooperate with a group of French ships set to arrive in the area Friday and "treat them as allies," which would be the first such joint operation since World War II.

De Villiers and Jean-Yves Le Drian, the defence minister of NATO member France, had no contact with Russian counterparts since Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014, according to a French source familiar with the situation.

Moscow and Paris announced close cooperation against the ISIL group following the bombing of a Russian airliner over Egypt and the attacks in the French capital, which killed 224 and 129 people respectively.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Kasım 2015, 16:26