Obama, Putin meet on sidelines of G-20 to discuss Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Obama tried to find common ground on the Syrian crisis

Topics: GlobalPost,

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

President Barack Obama said on Monday that both he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on the need for a political process to prevent a civil war in Syria, according to the Associated Press.

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Meeting for the first time since Putin’s return to the presidency, the leaders sought to find common ground on the issue of how to handle the spiraling conflict in Syria.

Obama said that they “agreed that we need to see a cessation of the violence, that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war and the kind of horrific events that we’ve seen over the last several weeks, and we pledged to work with other international actors, including the United Nations, Kofi Annan, and all interested parties in trying to find a resolution to this problem,” reported the AP.

Putin, seated next to Obama, said, “From my point of view we have found many common points on this issue,” according to Reuters.

More on GlobalPost: UN suspends Syria peace mission due to rising violence

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The meeting took place in Los Cabos, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, where developed and developing nations will meet, said Agence France Presse.

Both the US and Russia have been at odds since Putin returned to the presidency and they have differed on their approaches to handling the turmoil in Syria, with Moscow blocking efforts to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power.

More on GlobalPost: Report: Russia sends warships to Syria to safeguard citizens, naval base

The joint statement, which was released after their meeting, did not mention Assad by name. It said, “We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future,” according to the AP.

United Nations monitors have withdrawn from Syria due to rising violence, putting more pressure on Obama and Putin to find a solution, said Reuters.

Many suggested that the tone of rhetoric between Putin and Obama’s administrations marked the end of Obama’s efforts to “reset” ties with Moscow, according to Reuters.

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