The presidents of Russia and France discussed on Monday by phone the situation in Syria after an airstrike carried out by the United States, France and the United Kingdom in response to an alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma near Damascus, the Kremlin spokesman said.
Speaking with his French counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that the US-led coalition’s strikes against Syrian targets at the beginning of April were conducted in violation of international law and have complicated the situation in the Middle Eastern country.
He also noted the importance of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) conducting a thorough investigation on the ground in Syria.
French President Emmanuel Macron, for his part, has expressed Paris’ readiness for a dialogue with all parties involved in the Syrian political settlement, particularly Russia, according to the Elysee Palace.
France was one of the states from the US-led coalition, along with the United States and the United Kingdom, that carried out on April 14 a missile attack on a number of targets in Syria, including facilities in Barzeh and Jamraya, amid reports of an alleged chemical attack in Douma.
The OPCW mission arrived in Damascus earlier this week, however, it has not entered Douma yet over security risks. According to the OPCW, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security has reached an agreement with the Syrian authorities to escort the team to a certain location and after that it would be accompanied by the Russian Military Police.
Iran Nuclear Deal
Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have also talked about the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying it should be continued, the Kremlin said Monday.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called on EU leaders Monday to encourage US President Donald Trump to begin implementing US obligations under the JCPOA, adding that “there is no alternative” to the agreement. At the same time, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief coordinator Cornel Feruta said that Tehran fulfills its commitments under the agreement.
Donald Trump has been a consistent opponent of the JCPOA – negotiated by former US President Barack Obama’s administration. US President Donald Trump described it as the worst deal in US history and threatened to withdraw Washington from the deal if it was not amended.
The JCPOA was signed on July 14, 2015, by China, Germany, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States (collectively referred to as the P5+1 group) and Iran. The accord stipulated a gradual lifting of anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran’s assurance that its nuclear program would remain peaceful.