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Obama and Putin hold 'informal talks' together in Turkey

US President Barack Obama and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talked to each other for more than 30 minutes in an informal meeting at the G20 summit in Turkey.

Svetlana Lukash, the Kremlin Sherpa to the G20, tweeted that the two had been talking during a break of the summit that is being held in Antalya.

She did not disclose any details about what the two discussed, but did post a photo of Obama and Putin sitting near to each other.


Obama to keep 5,500 troops in Afghanistan after 2016

President Obama has reversed plans to bring home the vast majority of US troops in Afghanistan at the end of 2016, with more than half of the current deployment of 9,800 troops set to remain in the country, NBC News has reported.

Mr Obama had originally hoped to leave 1,000 troops to solely protect the American embassy in Kabul after declaring the war in Afghanistan to be over.

President Obama, who hosted Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani at the White House in March, has effectively abandoned his goal to bring home almost all US troops before leaving office. Credit: Reuters

But after several months of discussions, including with Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani, Mr Obama has accepted the military and political consensus is to keep a presence of 5,500 troops beyond next year to fight the twin threats from al Qaeda and Islamic State.

Senior White House officials told NBC News the short-lived loss of the city of Kunduz to militants was not the main factor in Mr Obama's decision - which will be officially announced later - but confirmed they were watching Kunduz closely.

The additional troops will be housed at bases in Bagram, Jalalabad, and Kandahar and continue to operate a "limited mission" of counter-terrorism alongside the training of Afghan forces at an additional cost of around $4.6 billion (£3 billion).

Condolence payments for Kunduz victims' families

President Obama rang the charity to apologise earlier this week Credit: Olivier Douliery/DPA/Press Association Images

The United States Department of Defense will seek to make "condolence payments" to families of victims of a U.S. air strike that hit a Medecins Sans Frontiers hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 22 people.

U.S. President Barack Obama had previously rung MSF, International President Joanne Liu to apologize and express his condolences following the incident.

In a statement, Pentagon spoksman Peter Cook said: "The Department of Defense believes it is important to address the consequences of the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

"U.S. Forces-Afghanistan has the authority to make condolence payments and payments toward repair of the hospital. USFOR-A will work with those affected to determine appropriate payments. If necessary and appropriate, the administration will seek additional authority from the Congress."


Obama and Putin to hold talks over fight against IS in Syria

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin will meet at the UN on Monday. Credit: PA

Barack Obama is to meet Vladimir Putin to discuss Russia's plans to counter Islamic State militants in Syria.

The American and Russian presidents will meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday.

White House officials said Mr Obama hoped to learn more about Russian plans to tackle IS by increasing its military presence in Syria.

"There's a lot of talk and now it's time for clarity and for Russia to come clean and come clear on just exactly how it proposes to be a constructive contributor to what is already an ongoing multi-nation coalition," said Celeste Wallander, the White House National Security Council's senior director for Russia.

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