Russia, US to push Syria peace talks: Putin
Russia and the United States both want to stop the violence in Syria and have agreed to push all parties in the conflict to hold peace talks in Geneva, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
Speaking after bilateral talks with US President Barack Obama at the G8 summit, Putin said: "Of course our opinions do not converge, but all of us have the intention to stop the violence in Syria.
"And to solve the situation peacefully including by bringing the parties to the negotiating table in Geneva.
"We agreed to push the parties to the negotiating table."
World powers have for months been discussing an international peace conference in Geneva to build on a similar conference in the Swiss city last year that aimed to end the violence in Syria.
Obama acknowledged that they had "different perspectives" but shared an interest in reducing the bloodshed in Syria.
"With respect to Syria we do have different perspectives on the problem," said Obama, as he and Putin sat in armchairs and delivered statements after their talks.
"But we share an interest in reducing the violence, securing chemical weapons and ensuring that they are neither used nor are they subject to proliferation, and that we want to try to resolve the issue through political means if possible," he said.
"So we will instruct our teams to continue to work on the potential of a Geneva follow-up."
Obama and Putin will hold bilateral talks in Moscow on September 3-4, ahead of the G20 summit in St Petersburg on September 5-6, they said in a communique.
© 2013 AFP