The President of France has confirmed the planned visit to Russian Federation

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The White House reacted Sunday night to France's claim that it "convinced" President Donald Trump to maintain the USA military presence in Syria, shortly after the two allies took part in airstrikes against the Assad regime.

The French president said on Sunday that Paris had convinced the U.S. administration to "stay in Syria long term".

She added that the U.S. still wants to "crush ISIS" and expects regional allies to help securing the region.

In telephone calls before the Saturday airstrikes, Macron said he had persuaded Trump not to pull out of Syria.

Announcing the strikes in an address to the nation on Friday evening in Washington, Mr Trump insisted: "America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria - under no circumstances".

The White House hasn't commented on Macron's claim, but President Trump is likely to swat down the notion that anyone told him what to do.

"They have not used chlorine themselves but they have methodically built the global community's inability to act through diplomatic channels to stop the use of chemical weapons", he said of Russian Federation.

Macron also claimed credit for convincing Donald Trump to stay involved in the conflict during an interview with journalist Jean Jacques Bourdin
Macron also claimed credit for convincing Donald Trump to stay involved in the conflict during an interview with journalist Jean Jacques Bourdin

Saturday's strikes on Syria were the first major military operation since Macron's election in May past year. "With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks on this".

The United States, Britain and France said they only hit Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and the strikes were not aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or intervening in the civil war.

Mr Macron insisted the Western allies had "complete worldwide legitimacy to act" in Syria.

Macron said the U.S., Britain and France had "full worldwide legitimacy to intervene" with the strikes, to enforce global humanitarian law. The Western states have accused forces of Assad of an attack with the use of chemical weapons in Duma.

Despite soaring tensions with Russia, Macron stressed the need to "talk to everyone" in pursuing a Syrian settlement, saying his plans to visit Moscow in May remain unchanged.

Macron said that failing so far to get the red lines respected had led Russian authorities to think of Western powers that "these people from the worldwide community - they are nice, they are weak". It wouldn't be the first time he'd changed his mind on Syria, after all. There are no changes to his planned trip to Russian Federation next month, he said.

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