Macron meets Putin, warns over Syrian chemical weapons

Despite Putin standing next to Macron during these statements and not disputing them in any way, the Russian leader still did not mention gay people during the news conference.

The Russian leader went on to say that his talks with Macron helped the pair to find common points in dealing with major global problems, and the that two sides would try to further bring together their views on these issues.

Macron, whose nation has supported removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, said he would work with Putin to determine the best course of action in the country. Mr Macron said he is looking toward strengthening France's partnership with Russian Federation against the fight with so called Islamic State (ISIS) and wanted a democratic transition.

Last fall, Putin abruptly canceled a visit to France after Macron's predecessor, Francois Hollande, decried Russian bombings in the Syrian city of Aleppo as a "war crime".

The meeting took place at Versailles palace near Paris.

He said he would make "not a single concession" to Russian Federation on the three-year-old conflict in eastern Ukraine, with he and his G7 counterparts saying they were prepared to strengthen sanctions against Moscow. It was also a chance for Macron to show France and the rest of Europe what kinds of issues will matter to him in worldwide relations.

It said that over 100 gays had been arrested in the region, where homosexuality is taboo, and that their families have been told to kill them to "cleanse their honour".

"I have always had an exemplary relationship with foreign journalists, but they have to be journalists". "When press organs sow defamatory untruths, they are no longer journalists, " he said.

Margarita Simonyan, who oversees the Russia Today network from Moscow, responded with indignation. It started with a firm but brief handshake with Mr Putin - nothing like his white-knuckle clasping contest with Donald Trump, the USA president, at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit. He also shrugged off allegations that Russian hackers infiltrated Macron's campaign. The Kremlin has denied involvement, and Putin on Monday reiterated that.

Mr Macron said the Russian leader told him he had attempted to "establish the complete truth on the activities of local authorities" but did not provide details. "It is very important that we begin to dissipate the mistrust that has built up in recent years".

The Kremlin appeared to favour Macron's far-right opponent Marine Le Pen for the presidency during the campaign and Putin offered her a publicity coup when he granted her an audience a month before the election's first round. One day before the election Macron's campaign staff alleged that their computers were hacked and a mix of fake and authentic documents attached to the candidate were posted on social media "in order to create confusion and misinformation".

  • Leroy Wright