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    UMP right-ring party's member of Parliament Jacques Lamblin speaks during a session of questions to the government on February 4, 2014 at the National Assembly in Paris

    EU Should Boost Military Role in Syria, Work With Russia - French Official

    © AFP 2017/ JACQUES DEMARTHON
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    Jacques Lamblin, a member of the French parliament's Defense Committee, said that the West should be more involved militarily in Syria cooperating with Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Europe should enhance its military engagement in the fight against terrorist organizations in Syria, while coordinating its efforts with Russia, Jacques Lamblin, a member of the French parliament's Defense Committee, told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "I belong to the defense committee, I believe that Europe, before the Russian intervention, has been too lightly engaged in Syria. The West should be more involved militarily in Syria cooperating with Russia," Lamblin said.

    The French lawmaker, who is currently on a visit in Moscow along with his colleagues, noted a positive role Russia played in Syria, especially in the joint fight with the Syrian army against the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) jihadist group, outlawed in Russia.

    "Russia was right to support the Syrian government and the Syrian Army in this fight… IS had been enlarging and expanding its influence, but after Russia got involved in Syria, Islamic State started to lose ground," Lamblin said.

    The lawmaker added that the relations with Russia used to be better and the two sides should improve them.

    "Today our relations aren't good, they aren't what they should be… Given our close cultural ties and for the sake of civilization, we should develop them," Lamblin said.

    A French delegation headed by Thierry Mariani, a member of The Republicans party, arrived in Moscow earlier in the day. The lawmakers held a meeting with Russian lower house speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and are expected to partake in talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry, as well as the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, on Friday.

    Political dialogue between France and Russia deteriorated after the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, which provoked the introduction of political and economic sanctions against Russia by the European Union and the United States, as well as Moscow's reciprocal restrictive measures on some food products imported from those states.

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    Syrian crisis, Jacques Lamblin, Russia, Syria, France
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