France’s Macron holds ‘frank exchange’ with Putin

French President Emmanuel Macron says he held a frank exchange with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in their first face-to-face talks.

The two leaders discussed disagreements in the meeting, held at the sumptuous Versailles palace near Paris. But Mr Macron said he wanted to work with Russia over the conflict in Syria in the struggle against terrorism.

Meanwhile, Mr Putin said he wanted to strengthen economic ties with France after the restrictions of recent years. France is in the coalition backing Sunni Arab and Kurdish rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has strong military help from Russia and Iran.

Later in the joint news conference after yesterday’s talks both leaders said there were opportunities for their countries to work together more closely.

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