French President Emmanuel Macron issued a stark warning with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over Syria's use of chemical weapons in the country, promising to draw a red line and retaliate if such behaviour persisted.

The two leaders had been discussing the Syria conflict amongst other matters in an important encounter to build relations between the two nations in what was Macron's first meeting with Putin since his inauguration last month.

"We outlined two major principles that I confirmed in our discussion with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. First, that a very clear red line should exist: the use of the chemical weapons, no matter who does it.

"Any use of the chemical weapons will be followed by an immediate response – at least on behalf of France. I also hope that we can exchange useful information and work together to evaluate the situation on the ground,"

Macron vowed that France would not allow "the disintegration of the Syrian state, and deterioration on the situation in the region."

Putin added that mutual understanding was at the heart of the discussions in order to secure a positive Franco-Russian relationship and the Russian chief admitted that there is light at the end of the tunnel with regards to an agreement.

"We sought ... common ground [in dealing] with key issues of the international agenda. And I believe that we see it. We are able to ... at least try to start resolving the key modern problems together."

Putin extended an invitation to Macron to travel to Moscow for further discussions, and revealed how the two spoke of establishing a "working group" between the two countries to help fight terrorism in Europe.

"Mr. President [Macron] suggested setting up a working group, joining delegations that could visit both Moscow and Paris, and in practical terms to establish cooperation in fighting the terrorist threat that is certainly extremely dangerous for us and for European countries, including France," Putin added.

Putin and Macron
Emmanuel Macron and Putin vowed to put an end to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Reuters