Russian, US view on Syria doesn't match: Putin
President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Monday, June 17, 2013. Obama and Putin discussed the ongoing conflict in Syria during their bilateral meeting. Photo: AP
Northern Ireland: US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, remain divided on key issues in handling the Syrian civil war with the two powers now openly arming opposing sides.
"Of course our opinions do not coincide but all us have the intention to stop the violence in Syria," Mr Putin said after meeting with Mr Obama in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, where they are attending a summit of leaders from the Group of Eight nations. Still, he said both leaders agree that the violence in Syria must end.
"We do have different perspectives on the problem but we share an interest in reducing the violence" and in securing Syria's stocks of chemical weapons so that they're neither used in the conflict nor subject to proliferation, Mr Obama said.
The White House, declaring that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had crossed a "red line" Mr Obama previously drew by using chemical weapons against rebels, announced last week that the US would begin sending direct military aid to the Syrian opposition. Russia continues to arm Assad, a long-time ally.
European nations, led by France and the UK, both also participating in the summit, have pressed the US to take stronger action on Syria even as Russia has thwarted efforts to sanction Assad in the United Nations Security Council.