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PRESS RELEASE


Putin, Hollande Meet in Moscow—Agree on Coordination, Targetting Oil Smuggling, and More; Obama Sidelined and Exposed

Nov. 27, 2015 (EIRNS)—French President François Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow, yesterday, following Hollande’s meetings with his German, Italian, and American counterparts in the days before. For Hollande, the contrast is dramatic between his time at the White House on Tuesday, Nov. 24—the day the Turks downed the Russian fighter jet—with Obama, who denounced Russia as an isolated loser, and Hollande’s time with Putin yesterday, where the two of them made joint commitments to defeat terrorism.

Recall Obama’s exact, wild-man words on Nov. 24 at the Obama-Hollande press briefing: "Russia right now is a coalition of two—Iran and Russia—supporting Assad...Russia is an outlier..."

In Moscow yesterday, Putin and Hollande, after their meeting, gave statements, then took reporters’ questions.

Putin said that they had

"agreed to step up our joint efforts on the anti-terrorist track, to improve the exchange of operational information in the fight against terrorism and establish constructive work between our military experts in order to avoid overlapping incidents and to focus our efforts on ensuring that our work in fighting terror is more effective, avoiding any strikes against territories and armed forces that are themselves fighting terrorists."

He also expressed confidence that a political settlement could be found in Syria after terrorism is eradicated.

Hollande stressed that unity is essential but not enough. There must also be action. Nations must take responsibility, as France is doing with the deployment of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. He also emphasized the importance of a transition process in Syria, the emphasis of which is largely in line with the Vienna document, but he added that "it goes without saying that Assad does not have any role to play in the future of his country." Despite that, in order for the transition to succeed, "it is imperative that Russia should play the main, one of the main, roles in this process." As for the specifics of Franco-Russian cooperation, Hollande said that they had agreed on three points: 1) stepped-up intelligence cooperation; 2) coordinating intensified strikes against ISIS; and, 3) concentrating those strikes on ISIS and terrorist groups.

In response to questions, Putin once again went hard after the matter of oil smuggling from ISIS-controlled territory into Turkey. He pointed out that at the G20 summit in Turkey just a few days before the shoot-down, he had shown to other G20 leaders the photographs taken from Russian aircraft of lines of oil trucks extending as far as the horizon.

"Oil is being supplied from territories controlled by terrorists in Syria at an industrial scale. It comes from these territories, not from somewhere else,"

Putin said.

"We can see from above where these trucks are heading. They are driving towards Turkey, day and night. I can presume that Turkey’s top leaders are unaware of this. This would be hard to believe, but it is possible theoretically. However, this doesn’t mean that the Turkish authorities shouldn’t cut off these illegal transactions."

And if Turkey is destroying all of this oil, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims, "we don’t see any smoke or flames" from it.

Putin also raised the point: what use is the Oct. 20 Memo of Understanding between Russia and the United States, if the U.S. does not preclude such incidents at the Nov. 24 strike on the Russian jet?

"We exchange information with them, but now we’re very worried about the nature of this exchange and the results of this cooperation,"

he said.

"Look, we informed our American partners in advance when our pilots were going into action and where, in what air corridors. The American side, which leads the coalition, to which Turkey is also a party, knew about the location and time of our operation. And this is precisely where we were hit."

The question that arises, therefore, is "why did we pass this information to the Americans? Either they are not in control of what their allies are doing, or they hand out this information every which way without understanding the implications."