Putin, Obama discuss Syria crisis over phone

Moscow, Feb 14 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Barack Obama on Sunday discussed the Syrian crisis over phone, the Kremlin said.

During the “frank and business-like” conversation, Putin and Obama positively assessed the results of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Munich on February 11-12, Xinhua reported.

Both leaders supported the tasks of achieving ceasefire and delivering humanitarian aid, while agreeing to intensify cooperation through diplomatic and other channels to implement the agreement reached at the ISSG meeting.

Putin noted the need to establish regular working contacts between the defence ministries of the two countries in order to ensure a “systematic and successful” fight against terrorism.

Both countries have carried out military campaigns in Syria.

The ISSG meeting, sponsored by the the US and Russia, agreed on a nationwide cessation of hostilities to be implemented soon in Syria, and on humanitarian aid delivery to besieged areas in the country.

The two leaders also touched on the situation in Ukraine, especially the implementation of the Minsk accords.

Putin expressed hope that Kiev would take practical steps to meet its obligations under the Minsk deal as soon as possible, including constitutional reform, establishing direct dialogue with the two self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine, and amendments to the law on special status of the Donbass region.

Relations between Russia and the Western countries have been undermined by disputes over the Syria and Ukraine issues, with both sides waging a sanctions war and cutting dialogues.

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