Russia wants anti-ISIL alliance with US, France and even Turkey: Diplomat
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, listen to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, before a bilateral meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)Russia would be prepared to "create a joint staff" to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in which Moscow would work with France, the United States and even Turkey, the Russian ambassador to France said on Nov. 25.
"We are prepared to... plan strikes on Daesh [ISIL] positions together and create a joint staff with France, the US, with all the countries who want to be in this coalition," said Alexander Orlov.
He told Europe 1 radio that despite rising tensions after Turkey downed a Russian military jet on Nov. 24, "if the Turks want to be in (the joint staff) as well, they are welcome".
Speaking following talks at the White House between French President Francois Hollande and Barack Obama on Nov. 24, the US president said it would be "enormously helpful" if Russia would work with the US and others to bring about an end to the war in Syria.
But Obama cautioned that US forces could only work with Russian forces if Moscow concentrated its bombing in Syria on ISIL jihadists, and not on other rebel groups opposed to Moscow's ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Addressing the downing of the Russian jet by a Turkish air-to-air missile, Obama also said that if Russia focused on hitting IS [ISIL] targets "some of those conflicts or potentials for mistakes or escalation are less likely to occur".