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Differences remain between Obama and Putin on Syria

The two leaders met on the sideline of the UN sumit Credit: PA

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin have agreed to explore a political solution to Syria's conflict, but continue to disagree on the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to a US official.

During the two leaders' 90-minute meeting on the sidelines of the UN summit, Mr Obama told Mr Putin that he saw no path to stability in Syria if Assad remains in power, according to the official.

The two leaders spent about half their meeting discussing Syria, and half discussing Ukraine, Mr Obama said.

Mr Putin said the meeting was "very useful and frank".

Obama and Putin clash over Syria at UN meeting

There were frosty relations between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin as they met at a UN Summit to discuss Syria.

Obama raised a glass with Putin but looked stern as he did so. Credit: Reuters

The US President said he thought Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a "tyrant" who was behind the four-year civil war in which at least 200,000 people have died.

While Russian premier Putin told the gathering of world leaders there was no alternative to cooperating with Assad's military to defeat the so-called Islamic State.

The disagreement has raised questions about how Obama and Putin might find common ground. Credit: Reuters

The pair shook hands and clinked glasses at a lunch hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


Obama: 30,000 troops pledged to future UN peacekeeping

Fifty countries have pledged over 30,000 new troops and police for possible deployment on United Nations peacekeeping missions, US president Barack Obama has said.

More than 50 countries, from Bangladesh to Colombia, from Finland to China, are making commitments totaling more than 30,000 new troops and police.

– Barack Obama

Mr Obama was speaking at a summit of world leaders organised by the US to boost global support for UN peacekeeping missions.

The Syrian crisis has dominated the agenda throughout the meetings in New York.

US prepared to work with Russia to end Syria crisis

Barack Obama has said he is prepared to work with Russia and Iran and any other world leaders to bring an end to the Syria crisis.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, the US President said there can be no return to the status quo in Syria under "tyrant" President Bashar al-Assad.

However Russian president Vladamir Putin later told the Assembly it was an "enormous mistake" to refuse to work with Assad's government and its armed forces.

ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:

Putin: Mistake not to work with Syrian government

Russian president Vladamir Putin addresses UN General Assembly

Russian president Vladamir Putin has said it is an "enormous mistake" to refuse to work with the Syrian government.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Putin said: "We think it is an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces who are valiantly fighting terrorism face to face.

"We should finally acknowledge that no one but President Assad's armed forces and (Kurdish) militia are truly fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria."

He called for the creation of a broader international anti-terrorist coalition including Muslim states as key members.


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