Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin met Monday at the United Nations in the search for solutions to the chaos in Syria, without however Register breakthroughs, particularly on the place to book Bashar al-Assad.
Following a meeting of about 90 minutes, which began with an icy handshake, the Russian president spoke of a meeting “constructive surprisingly open” with his US counterpart and discussed possible cooperation.
He however highlighted real differences on how to end a war that has already killed more than 240,000 dead.
Putin has not ruled out the Russian strikes, but has instead ruled out sending ground combat troops to fight against the ultra-radical jihadi group the Islamic State (EI), rather emphasizing its desire “to to further assist the Syrian army. ”
Evidence of ongoing tensions with the West, the Kremlin leader did not resist the temptation to tackle Barack Obama and Francois Hollande: “I have the greatest respect for my American and French counterparts but they are not Syrians and therefore should not be involved in choosing leaders of another country. ”
This first official meeting between Messrs. Obama and Putin for over two years was devoted to Syria for half and half to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Echoing the words of the Russian president, a US official described a “shared desire” to find responses to the war in Syria that caused unprecedented migration crisis. But found a real disagreement on the outcome of a possible political transition process.
According to the same source, both men stressed the need to communicate at the military level to avoid possible conflicts between them in the region.
A few hours earlier, they had displayed their disagreements openly to the UN rostrum, accusing each other of having contributed to the tensions in the region.
Assad the “tyrant”
In a speech centered on the power of diplomacy, examples of Iran and Cuba in support, Obama made clear that he had to prepare to turn the page Assad: “After so much bloodshed and carnage, there can be a return to the status quo before the war. ”
Lors d’une rencontre en marge de l’assemblée générale,… (PHOTO AP) – image 2.0
At a meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly, Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani showed their goodwill
And in a clear reference to Moscow, he denounced the logic of supporting a “tyrant” who massacre of innocent children “under the pretext that the alternative would be” worse. ”
For Putin, conversely, the Syrian leader is a legitimate government with which refuse to cooperate would be a “huge mistake”.
Faced with the jihadists of IE, Putin called on the rostrum at a “broad anti-terrorist coalition”, similar to “the one against Hitler” during the Second World War.
“We must recognize that no one other than the armed forces of President (Syrian) really fight the Islamic State,” commented the head of the Kremlin who made his comeback to the General Assembly of the United Nations after ten years absence.
Russia offered Monday to the Security Council a resolution supporting a political and military coalition. This should also include Iran and the Syrian regime, explained to reporters the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.
Taken aback by the Russian diplomatic offensive, the White House said it would be irresponsible not to try the card of dialogue with Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Holland, who Sunday announced the first minting of France against the EI Syria has also reiterated on Monday, without giving any date that transition happening in Syria by the departure of the Syrian president.
“We can not work together victim and the executioner,” he began. “Assad is the source of the problem and it can not be part of the solution.”
Washington and about sixty European and Arab Sunni fly past year a military coalition strikes strongholds EI in Syria and Iraq. But all these military operations have not prevented jihadist organization to consolidate its positions or ruined its power of attraction.
At a meeting on the sidelines of the general meeting, Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani showed their good agreement, especially in the Middle East.
“Relations between Iran and Russia have improved and strengthened over the past two years,” said Rowhani, which was the first intervention at the UN since the conclusion of an agreement on the program Nuclear Tehran.