Washington: The United States and France today said they would welcome Russia in the 65-nation global coalition against Islamic State if it changes its strategy in Syria.
US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Francois Hollande made their views clear at a joint White House news conference, asserting that the two countries would like Russia to join the international coalition and this would further strengthen the fight against IS.
"President Hollande and I agree that the Russia's strikes against the moderate opposition only bolster the Assad regime, whose brutality has helped to fuel the rise of ISIL. We agree that Russia could play a more constructive role if it were to shift the focus of its strike to defeating ISIL," Obama said.
"Likewise, President Hollande and I agree that the best way to bring peace to Syria is through the principles reaffirmed in Vienna, which require active
Russian support for a cease-fire and a political transition away from Assad to a democratically elected government that can unite the Syrian people against terrorists," he said after the Oval office meeting between the two leaders.
Responding to a question, Obama said while the US and France have a coalition of 65 countries who have been active in pushing back IS for quite some time, Obama said Russia right now is a coalition of two -- Iran and Russia, supporting Assad.