Monday, November 16, 2015

G20: Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin agree to Syrian-led transition

Katherine Murphy, The Guardian

A White House official said Obama and Putin had agreed the United Nations would mediate negotiations between the Syrian opposition and the regime after a ceasefire.

The thaw between Obama and Putin came in the lead-up to the summit’s working dinner, where G20 leaders were due to focus on strategies to counter violent extremism.

Earlier in the day, the US president used his opening remarks at the summit to declare America would intensify efforts to “eliminate” Islamic State and also bring about a “peaceful transition” in Syria.

The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had a brief discussion with president Obama before the leaders gathered for the G20 “family photo”.

Turnbull and Obama will meet for longer talks at the Apec summit in Manila on Tuesday.

In addition to pushing a political solution for Syria, officials told the Guardian, Obama used interventions during summit sessions on Sunday to urge leaders to produce a strong communiqué on climate change as a precursor to the UN-led climate talks in Paris next month.

(More here.)

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