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Syrian Ceasefire Talks Between US, Russia Fail Due To 'Gaps In Trust'

Posted at 11:25 AM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-05 12:25:41-04

President Barack Obama said Monday "gaps in trust" between the U.S. and Russia are keeping the two countries from reaching a military agreement. 

Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the Group of 20 summit in an effort to reach a ceasefire deal in Syria, but ultimately, both walked away without an agreement. 

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart had attempted a similar negotiation earlier, but that effort failed as well. 

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Russia and the U.S. are fighting ISIS in Syria, though a civil war in the country has complicated those efforts. 

Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime, while the U.S. doesn't. Al-Assad's forces, and in the past Russian planes, have bombed U.S.-backed Syrian rebels under the guise of fighting ISIS. 

In a press conference after his meeting with Putin, Obama said, "We have had some productive conversations about what a real cessation of hostilities would look like to allow us to both focus our energies on common enemies. ... But given the gaps of trust that exist, that’s a tough negotiation." 

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Calls for a truce have grown more urgent as Syrian national forces fight rebel troops in Aleppo. Almost 2 million people in the city are without food, water and medical care, but al-Assad has largely refused to let the U.N. deliver aid. 

Besides the situation in Syria, Obama also reportedly discussed with Putin concerns over militant pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and Russian cybersecurity crimes


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