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British, Russian leaders discuss ways to end Syria crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said he discussed with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron possible options and joint measures for ending the conflict in Syria.

“At the initiative of the prime minister, we spoke about the possible options for a positive development of the situation and about practical steps in this regard,” said Putin after talks with Cameron in the southern resort of Sochi, quoted by state media.

“We have a joint interest in a swift halt to the violence and the creation of the process for a peaceful solution that keeps Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” said Putin.

The West and Russia have been repeatedly at odds over the Syria conflict, with the United States and Europe accusing Moscow of seeking to prop up President Bashar al-Assad and supplying Damascus with military hardware.

Cameron said it was “no secret” that Russia and Britain had different positions on the Syria conflict but said they shared an ultimate aim of halting the bloodshed, allowing the Syrian people to elect a government and preventing a growth in extremism.

The British leader said he fully backed the outcome of a meeting between the top US and Russian diplomats this week who agreed to make a joint effort in search of a solution.

“We should not just sit the Syrian regime and opposition at the negotiating table but help in the creation and development of a transitional government in Syria,” Cameron added, quoted by Russian state media.