US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart François Hollande on Tuesday pledged to boost cooperation and expand air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq.
Appearing at the White House after meeting for the first time since the Paris terror attacks, the two leaders said Bashar al-Assad must step down as part of a political transition to end the Syrian conflict.
Obama suggested that Washington would accept a political resolution that simply included “Mr. Assad choosing not to run” in another election, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The US and French leaders were defiant in the face of what they both described as an attack on the world.
“This is an important moment for our nations and for the world,” Obama said.
“This was not a strike against one of the world’s great cities; it was an attack on the world itself,” he said, referring to the Nov. 13 shootings and suicide bombings in Paris that killed 130 people.
Hollande said the immediate priority in the military campaign in Syria is to take back territory currently controlled by IS.
Both leaders vowed to increase intelligence sharing to more effectively target the jihadists.
Obama and Hollande gave Russian President Vladimir Putin two conditions for military cooperation, the report said.
Hollande, who is scheduled to meet with Putin in Moscow later this week, said he will tell the Russian leader “that France can work together with Russia if Russia concentrates its military action” against IS.
He also said that Russia must agree to implement a political transition in Syria.
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