Putin and Obama meet in New York

Presidents of the U.S. and Russia, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, have met behind closed doors on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, agencies reported.

Source: Tanjug

This was the first official meeting between Putin and Obama in the last two years and although it was planned to last 55 minutes, the two presidents talked for more than an hour and a half.

Putin after the meeting said that the discussion was very useful and open, and expressed willingness to improve relations with the United States and work to overcome existing differences.

He said that the conversation concerned the situation in Ukraine and in the Middle East and that many of their views were identical.

Putin said that he and Obama discussed Russia's participation in a military campaign along with Western countries against Islamic State in Syria, with a UN mandate.

He pointed out that Russia plans to step up assistance to the Syrian army, but will never take part in a ground military operation in Syria.

The Russian president added that the fate of Syrian President should be decided by the Syrian people, not the leaders of the United States or France.

Reuters quoted an unnamed American official who said Obama and Putin agreed to find a political solution in Syria, but disagreed about the fate of the Syrian president.

They also agreed that the armies of the U.S. and the Russia should talk in order to avoid conflict situations in potential operations in Syria.

Obama told Putin that the United States believes there will be no stabilization of the situation as long as Bashar al-Assad is in power.

According to the U.S. official, Putin told Obama that the world needs Assad's support because his army has the best chance of defeating Islamic State extremists.

The unnamed official further said that Obama expressed concern to Putin in connection with the implementation of the Minsk agreement, including pro-Russian activists' intention to hold local elections.

The two presidents, the same source said, dedicated half of their conversation to Ukraine, and the other to Syria.


"Russia not planning field operations in Syria"

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country does not plan to send ground troops to Syria, and will continue to support the Syrian government.

World Monday, September 28, 2015 10:29 Comments: 2
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