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French President Considered Canceling Meeting with Putin

French President Francois Hollande Kremlin Press Service

French President Francois Hollande said that he considered canceling his Paris meeting with President Vladimir Putin, the French television channel TMC reported. The meeting, which has been rescheduled for October 19, will see the two leaders discussing key global conflicts such as Syria and Ukraine. 

When asked by a TMC reporter about the meeting, Hollande responded: “I asked myself: is it [the meeting] useful, is it necessary to be there? Can we do anything to counter what he [Putin] is doing with the Syrian regime? That is, supporting the regime that dropped bombs on the people of Aleppo? So I asked myself whether to accept Putin. If I see him, I'll tell him that this is unacceptable and seriously affects the image of Russia.”

Hollande's invitation for Putin to visit Paris was made public on Sept. 16. Later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault in Moscow, afterwards commenting that Putin and Hollande would discuss bilateral issues relating to Syria and Ukraine.

On Oct. 9, Russia used its UN Security Council vote to veto a draft resolution on Syria which France had prepared. On the eve of the vote, Hollande issued a statement warning that if Russia blocks the resolution “it discredits itself in the eyes of the world.”

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