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Obama focuses on agreement after Hollande meeting

Tuesday - 6/18/2013, 12:48pm  ET

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (AP) -- President Barack Obama says he and French President Francois Hollande agree they have strong evidence of chemical weapon use by the Syrian government. But he's not publicly mentioning their current differing positions over whether to arm rebels.

Obama said the two leaders agree on the need to build a strong opposition that can function after Syrian leader Bashar Assad is removed from power. He was speaking to reporters at the end of a one-on-one meeting with Hollande on the sidelines of a gathering of leaders of the Group of 8 industrial nations.

Obama reluctantly agreed to send arms to opposition forces last week. Hollande has not taken that step so far, but has suggested at the conference that he may be open to deeper support for the rebels.


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