That issue is expected to be a focus of Obama’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin later on Monday. There was a lot of common ground, but there were also differences, which are well known.
The official said Obama and Putin’s 90-minute meeting – their first in two years – was dominated by discussions of the crises in Syria and Ukraine. “I think there was a shared desire to figure out a way in which we can address the situation in Syria“. “Tens of thousands of militants are fighting under the banner of the so-called Islamic State“. Officials also suggested there was reason to be optimistic that Putin was growing impatient with Assad.
Obama said Washington was ready to work with Russian Federation and even Iran against the Islamic State jihadists, but took a swipe at them for supporting Assad, whom he dubbed a child-killing tyrant.
After yesterday’s speeches, it’s clear the U.S.is going to have to re-evaluate its strategy in Syria and that Russian Federation and Iran are unlikely to cooperate in any plan that might threaten Assad’s hold on power no matter what happens in the war against Islamic State.
United Nations: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday called for a united front to fight extremists in the Middle East and said Tehran was ready to help “bring about democracy” in Syria and Yemen. He called for a “managed transition” that would result in the ouster of Assad. We must recognize that there can not be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo. But in the Putin world view, these moves were simply necessary defensive measures against the octopus-like tentacles of the west, interfering in Russia’s backyard.
There were no breakthroughs in the face-to-face, but there seemed to be more of a coming together than in the past.
There was no immediate word from either side about what was discussed, although Syria and the crisis in Ukraine were thought to be on the agenda.
A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters after the meeting: “The Russians certainly understood the importance of there being a political resolution to the conflict in Syria, and there being a process that pursues a political resolution”.
The counter-terrorism summit takes place a year after Obama stole the limelight at the last UN gathering when he vowed to crush IS and called on countries to join the United States in the campaign.
Putin’s speech was trailed all day and broadcast live on the main Russian state television channels, where it was portrayed as another step towards Russia reclaiming its rightful place in the centre of the global stage.
Despite Obama’s staunch opposition to Assad remaining in office, the USA has struggled to push him from power. But could its actions actually stir up more hostility that could have an impact within Russian Federation itself? Those who warned at the time that the “Arab Spring” would in fact lead to “violence, poverty and social disaster”, were dismissed and derided – we continue to be dismissed and derided – as racist, bigoted “Islamophobes”. President Putin appears to smirk while Mr Obama attempts to hide his disdain.
Obama condemned nations that believe “might makes right” and sought instead to highlight the benefits of diplomacy.