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Putin, Hollande agree to share intelligence against Islamic State

By Amy R. Connolly
Putin, Hollande agree to share intelligence against Islamic State
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and French President Francois Hollande, seen here in October, agreed Thursday to share intelligence information against the Islamic State. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

MOSCOW, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande agreed Thursday to share intelligence information and focus airstrikes on the terror groups in Syria, boosting the possibility Moscow will be closer in line with the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State.

Putin said Russia is prepared to work with the international coalition fighting the militant group but said Russia will work on its own if it does not get wider support. He said the United States should have done more to prevent the downing of the Russian fighter jet by Turkey earlier this week.

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"All this forces us to join efforts against a common evil," Putin said. "We see that you pay a lot of attention and make efforts to create a broad anti-terrorist coalition. You know our position and we are ready for joint work. Moreover, we believe it is absolutely necessary, our stances are similar in this regard."

Putin said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is the "natural ally" in the fight against the IS but said Syrians should ultimately decide their own fate. Hollande told reporters there is "no place" in Syria for Assad, calling for a transitional government at the appropriate time.

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The development came as Hollande was finishing up his week-long international tour around the globe to garner support for striking down the militant group in the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris that left 130 dead and hundreds injured. It also comes days after Turkey, a NATO member that backs removing Assad from power, shot down a Russian fighter jet over Syria.

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