France has proof Syrian government launched chemical attacks - Macron

Faurencia car plant

Faurencia car plant

"The president of the Republic said he wanted the dialogue between France and Russian Federation to continue and intensify in order to bring peace and stability to Syria", the French presidency said after the call, which came as the West ponders possible strikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.

"I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay for the long-term", he told his interviewers.

In what some portray as a fight for the identity of France, Macron wants to reduce the role of the state and inject vitality in the economy by trimming guarantees for workers and increasing competition among companies, among other things.

Though Israel has at times urged stronger USA involvement against Assad and his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements in Syria, it voiced backing for Saturday's airstrikes by Western powers.

Macron added that the strikes on Syria had been "perfectly carried out". The U.N. Security Council met to debate the strikes, but rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the three Western allies.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep concerns" over the deterioration of the situation in Syria in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin on Thursday warned the US and its allies, who are weighing military strikes on Syria, to avoid any steps that could destabilize the situation there.

Mr Macron said the attack had been limited so far to Syria's chemical weapons facilities.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said in London that the West had tried "every possible" diplomatic means to stop Assad from using chemical weapons.

Backing up its reasons for the air strikes, the foreign ministry released an intelligence report based largely on open sources which concluded that there was no other plausible explanation than a chemical attacked coordinated by the Syrian military.

US President Donald Trump said earlier that he had ordered precision strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons capabilities after a poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people last week.

"There has been repeated and proven violations of the treaty", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that her country would not join a military operation in Syria.

French and United States officials were "working very closely, and we will have decisions to take, at the time we choose, when we consider it most useful and most effective".

"We are determined to completely crush ISIS and create the conditions that will prevent its return".

"He's going to do what French presidents do - which is to do it without asking anybody about it", said François Heisbourg, a former presidential adviser on defence and national security under both Sarkozy and his successor, François Hollande. "Mission Accomplished!" he said.

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