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Putin, Obama Discuss Syria, Ukraine In Phone Call

  • RFE/RL

WASHINGTON -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama have discussed the situation in Syria during a telephone conversation, officials in Moscow and Washington say.

The Kremlin said on July 6 that Putin, who initiated the call, urged Obama to aid the separation of the moderate opposition rebels in Syria from extremist groups like Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, the Al-Nusra Front.

It said both leaders also agreed that the United Nations-brokered peace talks need to resume.

The White House said in a statement that Obama “emphasized his concerns over the failure of the Syrian regime to comply with the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria,” a truce agreed in February.

Obama “stressed the importance of Russia pressing the Syrian regime for a lasting halt to offensive attacks,” the White House said in a statement.

The conversation between Obama and Putin comes after the Syrian military announced a unilateral 72-hour "regime of calm" cease-fire that should last until midnight on July 8.

A number of rebel groups said they would respect the truce marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday that concludes the holy month of Ramadan.

Washington and Moscow have long been at odds over the five-year Syrian conflict.

Russia has sought to bolster the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and attacked rebel forces that were armed and trained by the United States.

The two presidents also discussed the conflict in Ukraine and the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.