U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met in Paris Monday night discussing what a senior State Department official described as a full range of issues the two countries work on together as close and longstanding allies.
According the official, during their 90-minute meeting, Kerry and Fabius discussed the Islamic State (IS) threat, the situation in Syria and Iraq, and as well as the coalition that is taking the fight directly to the terrorist group.
The secretary thanked Foreign Minister Fabius for France's contributions to the effort, including by conducting military strikes against IS militants in Iraq and increasing support for the moderate Syrian opposition.
They also discussed the Iranian nuclear negotiations and reaffirmed joint efforts - together with the EU and P5+1 partners - to determine whether Iran is ready to verifiably assure the world that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.
Kerry and Fabius also talked about the Gaza reconstruction conference that took place in Cairo Sunday, and the need to build on its momentum to see if more progress can be made toward a lasting peace. They also discussed the security situation in Libya, as well as developments in Lebanon.
Finally, they talked about the Ebola crisis and how global effort is needed to contain the infectious disease.
On Tuesday in Paris, Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Topping their agenda will be Ukraine and the pullback of Russian troops from the country’s border ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s talks this week with European and Ukrainian leaders on resolving the crisis in Ukraine’s eastern regions.
Kerry and Lavrov are expected to also discuss the fight against the IS militants in Syria and Iraq. Russia has criticized coalition airstrikes in Syria. While there are no expectations that Russia will join the coalition, officials hold out hope Moscow might be able to help with intelligence, especially regarding Chechen members of the Islamic State.
Scott Stearns contributed to this report from Paris.