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Hollande, Putin agree to work more closely to combat Islamic State in Syria

France and Russia will exchange intelligence on Islamic State and other rebel groups to improve the effectiveness of their aerial bombing campaigns in Syria, French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday after talks with Vladimir Putin.
However, the two men remained at odds over the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Russia whom Western and Sunni Arab countries blame for Syria's nearly five-year civil war and want removed from power.
Speaking after a working dinner in the Kremlin with Putin, Hollande said they had agreed to target only Islamic State and similar jihadi groups in Syria. The West has accused Moscow of targeting mostly Western-backed rebel groups fighting Assad.

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