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Putin warns Macron against ‘dangerous’ Syria actions

Macron on Thursday said he had “proof” the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons. (File photo: Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during a telephone call against any “dangerous actions” in Syria, the Kremlin said.

“The most important thing is to refrain from ill-considered and dangerous actions that would constitute a gross violation of the UN Charter and would have unpredictable consequences,” the office of the president said in a statement after the call.

Macron on Thursday said he had “proof” the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons on the former rebel outpost of Douma and would announce his response “in due course”.

“Vladimir Putin emphasized the advisability of conducting a thorough and objective investigation, until the completion of which it is not advised to voice any accusations against anyone,” the Kremlin statement said.

Moscow has repeatedly claimed the chemical attack was staged by rebels to provoke further intervention in the conflict by the West.

Macron seeks to ‘intensify talks’

Meanwhile, Macron told his Putin during the call that he wanted to “intensify” talks on bringing peace to Syria.

“The president of the Republic said he wanted the dialogue between France and Russia to continue and intensify in order to bring peace and stability to Syria,” Macron’s office said after the call, which came as the West ponders possible strikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.

Macron, who had made the use of chemical weapons a “red line” not to be crossed, bemoaned Russia’s use this week of its veto to block a UN Security Council resolution on setting up an investigation into the attack that would name those responsible.

The veto had prevented a “united” front on putting in place a mechanism “to prevent the regime being a repeat offender,” Macron said.

He told Putin his priority in Syria was the “fight against terrorism”, easing the suffering of civilians and “kick starting negotiations on a credible and inclusive political process as soon as possible.”
 

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Last Update: Friday, 13 April 2018 KSA 17:32 - GMT 14:32
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