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Putin, Macron made step forward in bilateral relations — Russian MP

May 30, 2017, 5:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. The leaders of Russia and France, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, made a step forward in bilateral relations during their Monday’s talks in France, a senior Russian lawmaker said.

"The results of the first meeting between France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, and the head of the Russian state, Vladimir Putin, have become a step forward in the Russian-French cooperation, if not a breakthrough," said Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, who is also the coordinator of a group on Russian-French parliamentary dialogue.

"Open and frank dialogue proves it, first of all the dialogue on the situation in Syria, during which the sides discussed new areas of cooperation in the fight against the international terrorism, and an agreement was reached to set up a special working group," the lawmaker said.

"It is important that Macron sees wiping out international terrorist groups in Syria as his top priority, and not the toppling of the incumbent government. This indeed gives grounds for hope that our contacts on this issue will intensify," he said.

According to Slutsky, Macron seems to admit "the fact that the future of Europe and key issues on the international agenda cannot be discussed without a dialogue with Moscow." "This improves chances for mending our ties that have a centuries-long history," he said.

"Of course, differences remain. But it is very important that the first meeting with the new French leader showed that finding common ground is possible for Moscow and Paris," the lawmaker added.

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