News Column

Obama, Putin Speak About the Need to End Violence in Syria

March 1, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke over the telephone Friday about the need to end the ongoing violence in Syria.

"The two presidents agreed on the need to advance a political transition to end the violence as soon as possible and the importance of Secretary (of State John) Kerry and Foreign Minister (Sergei) Lavrov continuing their engagement on Syria," the White House said.

Kerry held talks with Lavrov in Berlin on Tuesday as Moscow and Washington seek to end their differences over Syria and find a solution to the two-year-old conflict. Russia, along with China, has blocked stronger action in the UN Security Council against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Obama and Putin also discussed cooperation on pressuring Iran on its nuclear programme and bilateral trade issues.

The men will hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Group of Eight (G8) summit in June in Northern Ireland and at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in St Petersburg in September, the White House said.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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