Obama and Putin clash over Syria talks at the UN

Obama and Putin clash over Syria talks at the UN

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have traded criticism at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, about the future of Syria.

President Putin is a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has told the UN it is an “enormous mistake to not cooperate with the Syrian group which is fighting the terrorists face-to-face”.

He says all nations should be working together against the Islamic State.

“We must address the problems that we are all facing and create a broad anti-terror coalition,” Mr Putin said in his address, his first to the world body in a decade.

But President Obama has criticised Russia’s support of Assad is his speech to the General Assembly, saying the world can not support a leader who drops bombs on innocent civilians.

“When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs,” he told the Assembly.

“It breeds human suffering on an order of magnitude that affects us all.”

The two leaders are now holding face-to-face talks on the sidelines of the General Assembly, to try and reach a consensus on defeating the Islamic State.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who is also attending the Assembly, says she’s hopeful Russia and the US can find a compromise, saying both nations share an interest in defeating IS.

“Russia is working to that same end and I hope that president Putin and president Obama’s discussion today will be able to achieve a high level of cooperation in that regard,” she said.

Image: UN Photo

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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