MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani is ready to join Russian legislators on a visit to Syria if reelected.
"When we talk about terrorism in the Middle East, it also concerns France. If reelected (during the parliamentary elections due in the summer of 2017), I am ready to go (to Syria) with you," Mariani said on Thursday during a Russian-French inter-parliamentary seminar.
Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky, in turn, said that before inviting French lawmakers on a joint visit to Syria, "the situation in Syria should be explained to them." "We need to maintain contacts over the Syrian issue in any format possible. We need to use international platforms more and create our own platforms so that a ‘road map’ for inter-parliamentary cooperation concerning the Syrian conflict could be drawn up," Slutsky added.
He also emphasized the need to boost cooperation between Russia and France aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict. He said that the two countries "need to be together." "We need France, but not the France with its tanks and guns but the France active on the international level. We need France to take part in military planning and cooperate with Damascus," Slutsky added.
A French parliamentary delegation headed by Mariani is currently on a three-day visit to Russia upon Slutsky’s invitation.