Russia wants joint staff against IS with France, US and even Turkey
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The Russian ambassador to France told French radio Europe 1 on Wednesday that Moscow wanted an anti-Islamic State organisation alliance with France, the United States and even Turkey.
“We are prepared to plan strikes on the Islamic State organisation (IS) positions together and create a joint staff with France, the US, with all the countries who want to be in this coalition,” Russian ambassador Alexander Orlov said on Wednesday.
Despite the fact that Turkey downed a Russian military jet on Tuesday, Orlov declared “if the Turks want to be in the joint staff as well, they are welcome.”
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also backed a proposal by French President François Hollande to close off the Syria-Turkey border to prevent the flow of fighters crossing the frontier. Since 2011, Turkey is a major backer of rebels who have been fighting against the Syrian army.
“I think this is a good proposal and that tomorrow (Thursday) President Hollande will talk to us in greater detail about it. We would be ready to seriously consider the necessary measures for this,” he added.
Hollande is to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday to discuss the international coalition against the Islamic State organisation.
Both countries have launched airstrikes on Syria since the end of September, while France has joined the US-led coalition against IS in Syria and Russia launched its own raids over rebel groups opposed to its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.