French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said after the meeting with his Russian counterpart that both Moscow and Paris are supporting the territorial integrity of war-plagued Syria.
“First, we intend to fight al-Qaeda and the Islamic State [Daesh] (both banned in Russia). Second, we consider that there is a need to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria. We think that it is necessary to retain the situation when an integral functioning state exists,” Le Drian said after holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“In parallel, it is necessary both to think and to find a political settlement to the Syrian crisis, which, first, would guarantee the territorial integrity of Syria… and [second, there is a need] to organize a normal, viable transition process,” Le Drian added.
At the same time, Le Drian stressed that the Syrian government does not fulfill its obligations, including the destruction of chemical weapons.
“As for this chaos in Syria, the proliferation of chemical weapons continues, the [Damascus] regime is not fulfilling its obligations. This, I believe, is a new threat to the whole world. In this context, the status quo is already unacceptable in any way, because too much suffering is taking place now in Syria,” Le Drian said.
Lavrov and Le Drian met on Tuesday to discuss the most urgent bilateral issues as well as measures aimed at stepping up counterterror cooperation and conflict settlement in the world’s hotspots, including Syria, Ukraine and Libya.
France is among Russia’s leading partners in Europe and worldwide regardless of the fact that France joined the EU restrictive anti-Russia measures over Ukraine in 2014.
The two countries maintain intensive cooperation in the political, economic, trade and cultural spheres.