Francois Hollande hoped for a breakfast of champions with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday morning; gaining another champion for his cause of building a single international anti-ISIL coalition.
Renzi pledged Italy’s full support, but stressed any coalition needed to keep its eye on the ball elsewhere, too.
“It’s obvious that we have to end civil wars if we want to stop this exodus of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. France is already making a big effort,
especially in Africa, and I think every one of us should be making Libya an absolute priority. It was at the top of our list in my talks with the president and between France and Italy’s foreign ministers,” said Renzi.
Hollande single-mindedly pursued his objective, a narrowly-focused intense effort against enemy number one.
“We have to have the will to bring together all those wanting to move in this direction, at an international level. But with clear objectives; the destruction of DAESH,” he said.
Holland is going to need every ounce of his single-mindedness if he is to get what he wants. His trip to the USA on Tuesday produced little sign that President Obama is ready to let Russia off the hook on a number of other issues and saddle up with Moscow in Syria.
Angela Merkel is keeping Germany out militarily, but has pledged troops for Mali to ease the strain on France there, and extra advisors for the Kurdish Peshmurga. Berlin’s political support remains rock-solid.
The final piece of the puzzle comes later today, when Holland takes his week’s diplomacy to Moscow to try and seal the deal with President Putin.