On Monday, French President Francois Hollande called for a broad coalition including the United States and Russia to tackle Islamic State which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks on Friday. The following day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia and France's navies must develop a joint plan of action for their operations in Syria.
"I expect that the change in stance of our western colleagues [like France], following the horrible terrorist attacks, that this change will be noticed in the stance of our other western partners as well and that the position of the real fight against IS and other terrorist groups can only be started after [Syrian President] Bashar Assad steps down. This position needs to be put aside," Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil in Moscow.
On November 13, eight extremists wearing explosive belts attacked several venues across Paris, killing some 130 at restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and in the vicinity of the Stade de France stadium.
Hollande is scheduled to travel to Moscow on November 26, where he will attempt to bridge a US-Russian divide on anti-terrorism operations in Syria during talks with President Putin. The French leader will speak with US President Barack Obama during a visit to the United States on November 24.