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Fri Oct 4, 2013 5:26AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and his US counterpart Barack Obama

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and his US counterpart Barack Obama

Russia and the United States have long been at odds over the foreign-sponsored crisis that broke out in Syria in March 2011. While Moscow remains a supporter of the Syrian government, Washington its allies continue to support Takfiri groups operating inside the Arab state.
The presidents of Russia and the United States may exchange views about the crisis in Syria on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Indonesia next week, a Kremlin official says. Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s top foreign policy adviser, said on Thursday that Russian and US officials are preparing the arrangements of a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama in Bali Island on October 7. “It would be rather logical to meet (Obama) in Bali, taking into account the work on the Syrian issue,” said Putin’s aide, adding that the Russian president is expected to leave Moscow for Bali on Sunday. According to Ushakov, the planned meeting was proposed by the Russian side. In September, the two presidents also held brief talks over the Syrian issue on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. Putin said following the talks that the two sides “agreed to disagree, but there is a dialogue.” Moscow and Washington have long been at odds over the foreign-sponsored crisis that broke out in Syria in March 2011. While Russia remains a supporter of the Syrian government, the US and its allies continue to support Takfiri groups operating inside the Arab state. However, the two permanent members of the UN Security Council agreed on a deal on September 14, under which Syria must account for its chemical weapons stockpiles within a week and see them eliminated by the middle of 2014. Damascus has agreed to the deal. On May 7, Russia and the US also agreed to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012. The meeting, known as Geneva 2, is reportedly expected to be held before the end of this year. MKA/HSN
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