Instant Alert: The Latest: Putin congratulates new French president in call

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  The Latest: Putin congratulates new French president in call by on May 18, 2017, 9:01 AM PARIS (AP) — The Latest on French President Emmanuel Macron’s first week in office (all times local):2 p.m.The Kremlin says the leaders of Russia and France have discussed possible cooperation on international issues, including the fight against terrorism.It said in a statement that Vladimir Putin on Thursday congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on taking office and forming his Cabinet. The statement added that the have voiced readiness to develop “traditionally friendly” economic, political and cultural ties.The Kremlin said the two leaders have “agreed to work jointly on acute international and regional issues, including the fight against terrorism.” It noted that they underlined the importance of cooperation in settling the Ukrainian crisis on the basis of the Minsk agreement. France and Germany jointly brokered the 2015 peace deal for eastern Ukraine.The statement noted they discussed opportunities for a personal meeting.___12 p.m.French President Emmanuel Macron has gathered his newly-named government for his first Cabinet meeting — an assembly that looks significantly different than its predecessors.The government, appointed on Wednesday, is a mix of 22 prominent and unknown figures from the left and the right, half of them women.They arrived smiling Thursday, briefly posing for photographs on the front porch of the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris.The most senior Cabinet job, interior minister, went to Gerard Collomb, 69, long-time Socialist mayor of Lyon who played a key role in Macron’s presidential bid.Jean-Yves Le Drian, a 69-year-old former defense minister under then President Francois Hollande, stays on in Macron’s government as foreign minister and Europe minister.The armed forces are now led by 52-year-old centrist, pro-European Sylvie Goulard.  
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