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Obama Calls Putin to Stop Aerial Strikes on Syrian Opposition Forces | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US President Barack Obama calls Russia’s Vladimir Putin

US President Barack Obama calls Russia's Vladimir Putin

US President Barack Obama calls Russia’s Vladimir Putin

London, Moscow- President Barack Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his air campaign against Syrian opposition forces during a phone call Saturday, the White House said, a day after Putin’s deputy described relations between Moscow and Washington as sinking to Cold War depths.

In a description of the phone call, the White House said Obama stressed “the importance of rapidly implementing humanitarian access to besieged areas of Syria and initiating a nationwide cessation of hostilities.”

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama talked about Syria’s escalating civil war over the phone and agreed to intensify efforts to bring the fierce fighting to an end.

“President Obama emphasized the importance now of Russia playing a constructive role by ceasing its air campaign against moderate opposition forces in Syria,” the White House said after Obama’s phone call with Putin.

The Kremlin press service reported on Sunday that Obama and Putin agreed to intensify cooperation between the diplomatic agencies and other structures for the purpose of implementing the statement by the International Syria Support group adopted in Munich, considering it a positive step and pledging to implement the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians caught in the crossfire.

The Kremlin statement said that Putin and Obama had “emphasized the need to establish close working contacts” between Russian and U.S. military officials to fight ISIS and other terrorist organizations.”

During the telephone conversation with Obama, the Russian leader emphasized the importance of creating a united anti-terrorist front while giving up double standards.

The White House statement did not provide details of the conversation. Nonetheless, it did report that Obama urged Putin to adhere to a cease-fire agreement in eastern Ukraine and to ensure that monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have full access to all areas of that region.

“The President urged combined Russian-separatist forces to fulfill their Minsk obligations, especially adhering to the cease-fire,” the White House said, referring to the long-ignored Minsk Peace Accord that was agreed to a year ago.

Commenting on the two presidents’ phone call, Russian diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that this call serves as an “on time warning”.

Sources indicated that the phone call might be an attempt to transform ground operations into cooperation by forming a joint front to fight terrorism.