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No consensus on Syria

US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin failed Friday to bridge their bitter divisions over US plans for military action against the Syrian regime, and Washington signalled that it has given up on securing Moscow’s support at the UN on the crisis.

world Updated: Sep 07, 2013 02:42 IST

US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin failed Friday to bridge their bitter divisions over US plans for military action against the Syrian regime, and Washington signalled that it has given up on securing Moscow’s support at the UN on the crisis.

Efforts to smooth over their split did not go beyond Putin’s welcome of Obama to the G20 summit he was hosting, with the White House launching a scathing criticism of Russian policy on the conflict in Syria. Putin and Obama spoke for about half an hour on the sidelines of the summit, but neither managed to change the other’s mind onSyria.

“We spoke sitting down... it was a constructive, meaningful, cordial conversation. Each of us kept with our own opinion,” Putin said. The US, meanwhile, said it has come to terms with the fact that no deal could emerge and signalled that it would take punitive action against Assad’s regime without the UN backing.A source close to the talks said there was a disappointing lack of ambition at the dinner on the Syria issue, noting that Putin as host was keen not to aggravate tensions further.

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