Obama, Putin agree to advance Syria transition
Washington, March 2, 2013
US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed agreement in a telephone call on Friday on "the need to advance a political transition" to end the violence in Syria as soon as possible, the White House said.
The two leaders also stressed the importance of new US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who met in Berlin earlier this week, "continuing their engagement" on Syria.
The White House statement did not elaborate further on the discussion between Obama and Putin on the Syria crisis.
Moscow and Washington have long been at odds over the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The United States says he must go but Russia says his exit from power must not be a precondition for a negotiated settlement.
Obama and Putin also agreed to hold bilateral talks at the Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland in June.-Reuters