French, British FMs discuss ISIL, Ukraine

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met here Tuesday with his British counterpart, Philip Hammond, to discuss a variety of issues topped by the need to combat Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) radicals, a necessity agreed by 24 countries at the Iraq conference held in Paris on Monday, the Foreign Ministry said.

Britain and France have started reconnaissance flights over northern Iraq to pinpoint ISIL strongholds in an area where US airplanes have been making strikes for weeks to support local resistance to the extremists.

France is expected to join in air strikes and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited the UAE on Monday, where France has an airbase and a deployment of Rafale fighter-bombers, among other aircraft. The French flights on Monday over Iraq came from the base in Abu Dhabi, in agreement with UAE authorities.

Fabius and Hammond also discussed ways to help end the crisis in Ukraine and they addressed the priorities for reforming and boosting the European Union which has now been given a new Commission to oversee policies.

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