After meeting Assad ally Putin, Macron meets Syrian opposition

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“It’s important that Mr. Putin is ready to hear, we hope, strong words coming from Mr. Macron, to say “stop” to that homophobia, which has lasted for too long”, Cecile Coudriou of Amnesty International said. Its formation, perhaps, would have allowed to avoid the U.S. unilaterally withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and construction of missile defense elements in Europe, which violates strategic balance and creates risks for worldwide security.

But in an apparent warning to Assad and Russian Federation, he said the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a “red line” for his presidency and would draw an “immediate response” from France.

On May 7, Macron defeated right-wing rival Marine Le Pen, a Putin admirer.

However, he said that no one is able to present any concrete evidence, referring to Macron’s yesterday statement describing Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik news agency as false propaganda.

During the campaign, which climaxed with Macron’s election on May 7, Macron’s camp irritated the Kremlin by saying its campaign’s networks, databases and sites had come under attack from locations inside Russian Federation. “Your question looks very amusing for me”.

“We spoke about the Ukrainian crisis, spoke about the possibilities of settling the Syrian problem and, naturally, we also touched upon such a complex and, in my mind, risky situation as the situation with the nuclear problem in North Korea and with the North Korean missile program”, the Russian leader said.

Both sides though sought to present Putin’s visit, which was meant to mark 300 years since Tsar Peter the Great visited France, as an occasion to relaunch Franco-Russian relations.

But Macron had a more conciliatory tone after meeting with Putin.

Macron’s warning of French retaliation in the event chemical weapons are used echo the line taken by US President Donald Trump, who in April ordered cruise missile strikes in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack that Washington blamed on Damascus.

The use of chemical weapons in Syria is a red line for France and “would result in reprisals”, President Emmanuel Macron said after meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday.

In response to a question he was asked about the exchange, Macron told the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche “my handshake with him, it wasn’t innocent”. The G7 countries, which include the United States, agreed to consider new sanctions against Moscow over its 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and backing of armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Kadyrov said Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were welcome to visit Chechnya “in a search for the truth”.

Commenting on anti-Russian sanctions, Macron warned that new sanctions against Russia may only be caused by escalation of the Ukrainian conflict.

“As for me, I will be constantly vigilant on these issues, which are in keeping with our values”, Mr Macron said.

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Macron’s relatively simple greeting of Putin belies a complicated relationship between the two leaders. “You have asked how sanctions against Russian Federation will help in the resolution of the crisis in Ukraine’s southeast”. The U.S. and the European Union have slapped Moscow with sanctions over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and support for pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

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