Russia and US would strike Syria deal within days, says Putin
- Gayathri Mathivanan
- September 5, 2016, 10:16 PM
President Vladimir Putin said on Monday he had grounds to believe Russia and the United States could strike a long-awaited deal on Syria within days, allowing them to strengthen the fight against Islamist militants in the country.
In talks earlier on Monday, US secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also met on the event’s sidelines and discussed Syria, but were unable to reach an agreement.
Obama says the US and Russia are working to try and finalise a ceasefire in Syria that would allow more deliveries of humanitarian aid. The two countries are also thought to be trying to reach a deal on some form of limited military cooperation.
Obama and Putin spent about 90 minutes in a "constructive" meeting about getting humanitarian aid into the country, reducing violence, and cooperating on combating militant groups, the official told reporters.
"If an agreement can be reached, we want to do so urgently, because of the humanitarian situation. However, we must ensure that it is an effective agreement," the official said.
"If we cannot get the type of agreement we want, we will walk away from that effort."
Washington and Moscow have sought for weeks to secure a ceasefire between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and terrorist groups operating in the country.
Russia is among the supporters of the Syrian government while the US backs militants fighting to topple Assad.
According to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, more than 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
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