Obama, Putin Discussed the Conflicts Over A Coffee Table In Antalya, Turkey
Obama and Putin both leaned in over a coffee table in Antalya, Turkey, on Sunday came after the extremist group claimed responsibility for Friday’s horrific coordinated attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and hundreds injured.
The two leaders, who saw each other for the first time since Russia started air strikes over Syria in September, chatted in a foursome with Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice and a Russian aide.
Their meeting was visible on a television feed provided by the summit’s host country but their conversation could not be heard.
The White House says the 35-minute encounter centered on talks to end Syria’s civil war and that the two leaders agreed that the country needs a political transition led by Syrians. The transition would be preceded by negotiations mediated by the United Nations and a cease-fire.
The two leaders also discussed the conflict in Ukraine and Obama expressed condolences for the victims in the Russian plane crash in the Sinai Peninsula last month.
They also discussed a new proposal to end the Syrian conflict and Obama’s hope that Russia’s airstrikes in Syria will focus on IS, not opposition groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Reporters were not allowed in for the meeting, which took place during a working lunch for leaders attending the summit.
Obama and Putin both leaned in close to each other as they talked, with the former gesturing expressively with his hands.
During the talks with world leaders, Obama said ‘the skies have been darkened’ by the attacks in Paris.
He vowed to stand in solidarity with France and aid the effort to hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
However, he offered no details about what the U.S. or its coalition partners might do to step up its assault against ISIS.