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Hollande says France will not ease pressure on Russia over Syria
October 16, 2016 / 6:01 PM / 9 months ago

Hollande says France will not ease pressure on Russia over Syria

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French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech at a conference organised by EuropaNova, a European think tank, at MINES ParisTech school in Paris, France, October 15, 2016.Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande has said he does not plan to ease the pressure on Russia over its support for the Syrian government in its fight against rebels, but that he remains ready to meet President Vladimir Putin to discuss the war, a regional French newspaper reported on Sunday.

Putin cancelled an Oct. 19 visit to Paris after Hollande said he would see him only to talk about Syria.

"Vladimir Putin does not want to seriously discuss Syria. I am ready at any time, but I will not ease the pressure," Hollande said in the interview, published on Sunday evening.

He added that the absolute priorities were a cessation of bombing, a ceasefire, humanitarian aid and the opening of negotiations.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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