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Macron and Putin hold 'extremely frank talks'

By Vladimir Isachenkov

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he had "extremely frank, direct" talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Versailles.

Mr Macron pushed for co-operation on Syria and against Islamic State but also launched an extraordinary attack on two state-funded Russian media outlets he accused of spreading "lying propaganda".

The two leaders emerged from their first meeting - discussions at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles that lasted more than an hour longer than planned - clearly still at odds on multiple issues, but also seemingly keen not to let their differences define their fledgling relationship.

Mr Macron said he spoke to Mr Putin about LGBT rights in Chechnya and about the rights of embattled NGOs in Russia, vowing he would be "constantly vigilant" on these issues.

Mr Putin emphasised the need for closer co-operation between Russia and France, two nuclear-armed permanent members of the UN Security Council.

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