US, Russia fail to reach agreement on Syria

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with his US counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou on September 5, 2016. (ALEXEI DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

ARA News 

GENEVA Despite intensive diplomatic efforts, the United States and Russia have failed to reach an agreement to end violence in Syria due to an apparent lack of trust. 

On the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, the U.S. and Russian presidents held talks about Syria. President Barack Obama described the talks as “businesslike” and were “constructive but not conclusive.”

“Given the gaps of trust that exist that’s a tough negotiation, and we haven’t yet closed the gaps in a way where we think it would actually work,” the U.S. president told reporters at the conclusion of the G-20 Summit.

On the other hand, Putin told reporters at a separate news conference that talks with the US and Turkey were continuing concerning Syria, adding that negotiators had made a step forward.

The United States backs some of the rebel groups against Assad, seeing them as relative moderates. US officials would like to see Russia focus on what President Obama referred to as “common enemies,” specifically the Islamic State militants and al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

However, Russia considers several of the groups the U.S. backs to be “terrorist” organizations and, therefore, legitimate targets.

Reporting by: Lorin Silo

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