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France

Macron to discuss Syria with Turkey's Erdogan - reports

media France's President Emmanuel Macron looks on during the Equipe de France des Metiers 2017 event at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Christophe Archambault/Pool

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will visit Paris on Jan. 5 to meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, with the conflict in Syria high on the agenda, a source in the French president’s office said on Saturday.

Among the regional crises the two leaders plan to discuss, there would be a particular focus on Syria as well as on the Palestinian situation, the source said, weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The move stirred concern among Western allies and outrage in the Arab World.

Erdogan earlier this week made some of his harshest comments in weeks regarding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling him a terrorist and saying it was impossible for peace efforts in Syria to continue if he did not leave power.

Macron, meanwhile, said recently that France would push for peace talks involving all parties in the six-year-old Syrian conflict, including al-Assad, and promised “initiatives” early next year.

The Elysee source said “the question of human rights will also be raised” when Erdogan and Macron meet.

A security crackdown in Turkey after a failed coup in 2016 has drawn criticism from campaigners as well as the European Union, which is overseeing Ankara’s halting bid to join the bloc.

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