PARIS, March 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed key issues of Syria and Mali with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at a breakfast meeting on Wednesday.
As for Syria, the two ministers noted their concern over the risk of chemical weapons being used, said Philippe Lalliot, foreign ministry spokesman, during a press briefing.
The French minister also updated Kerry on European Union talks on lifting the arms embargo, the spokesman added.
In their discussions about the Middle East, Fabius stressed the importance of making the peace process a priority, the need for the international community to become involved, and France's willingness to play a major role.
Mali is also one of the key topics in their talks, as France is still continuing its military intervention in the West African country, targeting Islamist rebels who had threatened to take over the capital of Mali.
Both Fabius and Kerry underscored the need to deal with all of the various aspects involved in resolving the Malian crisis, such as the fight against terrorism, the political dialogue between North and South, respect for the transition roadmap and development benefiting all Malians.
Moreover, Fabius confirmed the withdrawal of French troops in Mali starting in April, and spoke of the prospects for deploying a UN mission there in July, according to the spokesman.
They also called for the fully implementation of the Libreville agreement by all parties in the Central African Republic.
Finally, they spoke about the prospects for a free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United States, which Kerry said could help Europe emerge from the economic crisis.
Kerry arrived in Paris Tuesday evening after the unannounced visits to Iraq and Afghanistan and he was heading home on Wednesday.