France's Macron to meet Italian PM on Sunday

France's new President, Emmanuel Macron, arrived on Friday in Gao in Northern Mali to visit the French troops fighting Islamist militants, and to hold meet with Mali's President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, France24 reported.

In addition, Putin and the Makron will discuss the further prospects of development of relations between Moscow and Paris, and will also exchange views "on coordination of efforts in the fight against terrorism and settlement of crises in Syria and Ukraine".

France's President Emmanuel Macron, right, awaits Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni for a dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Sunday, May 21, 2017.

The Socialist leader had said Russia's bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo could amount to war crimes.

The phone conversation was the first contact between the two since Macron's election earlier this month.

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) talks with Defence Staff French Army General Pierre de Villiers (C) after flying over Gao during his visit to the troops of France's Barkhane counter-terrorism operation in Africa's Sahel region in Gao, northern Mali, 19 May 2017.

"I think he's not very ideological compared with his predecessors", Orlov told a meeting of business leaders. "It is in that framework that reinforced cooperation with Germany can make us all more effective".

Macron won the presidency in a May 7 runoff against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who has expressed admiration for Putin and opposed sanctions against Russian Federation over its aggression in Ukraine.

Macron, 39, had tough words for Russian Federation during the campaign, saying Moscow was following a "hybrid strategy combining military intimidation and an information war, (creating) a new state of play on the global level and especially for European security".

In a brief statement beforehand, Macron said France and Italy share much common ground and noted the challenges Italy has faced with the arrival of large numbers of migrants.

Pierre Moscovici said before the eurogroup meeting that a deal is "doable" and that it's time to "open a new phase, a new page" with regard to Greece.

With the arrival of Macron, Paris' policy on Syria has yet to be clearly defined.

"Yes, NATO is useful to Europe's security, notably in the east", he said, adding: "NATO is a defensive alliance; so its role should be to defend us, never to provoke those who look for pretexts to show themselves to be more aggressive than they already are".

Macron's election campaign was subject to repeated cyberattacks and his aides accused the Kremlin of mounting a "smear campaign" against him.

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