Obama, Putin have 'intense' talk about Syria

Tue 19 Apr 2016 11:28 GMT | 15:28 Local Time

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On Monday President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone about the crisis.

Efforts to solve the five-year Syrian civil war reached a new roadblock Monday when opposition representatives pulled out of the talks in Geneva. Increased fighting in Syria in recent days indicates a possible crumbling of the partial cease-fire, brokered by the United States and Russia in February.

On Monday President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone about the crisis.

"My call today to him was to indicate that we're starting to see it fray more rapidly. And if the United States and Russia are not in sync about maintaining it and getting a political track and transition moving, then we could be back in a situation we were three, four weeks ago. And that would serve neither of our interests," Mr. Obama told CBS.

He added that he thinks the Russians are also "very much committed to maintaining the structure of the Syrian state, which in theory, we don't object to either."

"Where we have continually butted heads -- and this has been true for six years now -- is his insistence that he cannot back unilaterally the removal of [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] -- that that's a decision that Assad and the Syrians have to make," he said.
 

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