January 20
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French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Paris recognizes Russia's 'Role of Strong Leader' in International Relations, including in the Middle East, Sputnik reported.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that Paris and Moscow should work together to ensure collective security.
While speaking on the Syrian issue, Macron pointed out that all regional powers have to be involved in talks on Syrian conflict settlement. He also pledged to allocate $50 million in humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged country.

In turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that both Moscow and Paris welcomed Syrian authorities’ decision to send their delegation to the UN-led Constitutional Committee.

"We consider the formation and launch of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva as our priority. We have welcomed Damascus’s decision to send its representatives to this entity," Putin stated at a press briefing following his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Moreover, two leaders agreed to continue promoting political settlement in Syria, particularly taking into account the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue recommendations.

"Russia will continue working with the Syrian government and opposition in the framework of the Astana process. This format of negotiations has proved its effectiveness and gives a significant result. We are ready for contacts with a so-called small group. Of course, we proceed from adherence to the principle of respect for [state’s] sovereignty," Putin added.

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