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Putin to meet Obama, Abe, UN Chief in New York
September 25, 2015, 5:31 am

Putin and Obama at the G8 Summit on 18 June 2013 [PPIO]

Putin and Obama at the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland on 18 June 2013 [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama and Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe on the margins of the UNGA next week.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that Putin will hold talks with both Obama and Abe on Monday.

“Naturally the top-priority topic will be Syria,” Peskov told Russian media.

After months of trying to sideline Moscow, the US is trying to re-engage Russia in efforts to end the war in Syria as it grapples with the rise of the powerful Islamic State militant group.

The US administration has shown signs of a softening of stance on their earlier demand of an immediate removal of Assad from Damascus.

“Our focus remains on destroying ISIL and also on a political settlement with respect to Syria, which we believe cannot be achieved with the long-term presence of Assad,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said this week.

A senior adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview on Wednesday that Russia and the United States have reached a “tacit agreement” on ending Syria’s bloody crisis.

“The current US administration wants to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. There is a tacit agreement between the US and Russia to reach this solution,” Bouthaina Shaaban said in an interview with state television late Wednesday.

“The US recognises now that Russia has profound knowledge of this region and a better assessment of the situation,” she said.

Syria’s civil war has killed more than 240,000 people and displaced millions since 2011.

Russia says Syrian President Assad, should be part of international efforts to fight Islamic State, while the United States says he is part of the problem.

A recent New York Times report said “the White House is trying to make the best out of a situation it feels it is powerless to prevent”.

“The White House seemed to acknowledge that the Kremlin had effectively changed the calculus in Syria in a way that would not be soon reversed despite vigorous American objections,” said the NYT report.

US officials, however, said the focus of the Putin-Obama talks will be on Ukraine and Russian commitment to the Minsk peace deal.

“The president has made clear that he’s prepared to waive those sanctions as soon as Russia is prepared to demonstrate commitment to complying with the agreements that were reached in Minsk,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Putin and Obama met briefly on the sidelines of an APEC Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing in November 2014.

Their last official bilateral meeting was in June 2013 at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

Tokyo has also officially confirmed the plans to hold a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin in New York when the two leaders participate in the UN General Assembly’s upcoming session.

“As for the high-level meeting between the Japanese and Russian leaders, it is scheduled for September 28 in the framework of the UN General Assembly’s session,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

The Japanese side expects to focus on Putin’s visit to Japan and advancing the dialogue on concluding the peace agreement and resolving a historic territorial dispute, Suga said.

As the Syrian refugee crisis rages, Putin will also meet UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

The UN secretary general has, earlier this month, condemned the Hungarian government’s treatment of refugees on its southern border.

“I was shocked to see how these refugees and migrants were treated. It’s not acceptable … since they are the people who are fleeing the violence and persecution, we must ensure our compassionate leadership,” said Ban.

The Russian leader will address the UN General Assembly on Monday.


 TBP and Agencies

One Response to Putin to meet Obama, Abe, UN Chief in New York

  1. Roacheforque Reply

    September 25, 2015 at 11:10 am

    This cooperation is encouraging, but be careful. Russia knows all too well that the U.S. cannot be trusted to a “handshake commitment” that is not in the best interests of its narrative.

    And that narrative does not consider the best interests of its shrinking working class.

    Eventually, all the world will come to understand that working class prosperity is the key to economic growth for all.

    This lesson has been taught, not by communism, socialism or capitalism, but by trials and errors within each which should inform what is coming next – if only we could accept the truth of history, and not manipulate perceptions of the past to fit a totalitarian agenda.

    Free markets are the key.

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