New York, 11 Dhulhijjah 1436/25 September 2015 (MINA) – US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York next week at a time of high tension between the two countries.
The meeting, confirmed by both sides, comes as Moscow-Washington ties have hit their lowest point since the end of the Cold War over the Ukraine crisis and the situation in Syria.
The White House says Ukraine will top the agenda of the talks between Obama and Putin. However, Moscow says the presidents will rather focus on Syria, Press Tv quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
“Of course, the primary topic will be Syria,” the Russian president’s spokesman said on Thursday. Asked whether Ukraine would be discussed, he said: “Well, if time allows.”
“There will be time,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest responded during a daily news briefing in Washington. He, however, played down the possibility for any “major announcement” from the meeting.
“The president did make a decision that it was worth it at this point to engage with President Putin in a face-to-face meeting to see if the interests of the United States could be advanced,” Earnest said.
The US has been training Ukrainian troops fighting pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine. Washington is also backing armed militants fighting the Syrian government.
The US accuses Russia of military involvement in both countries. Moscow denies such accusations and calls for a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis. (T/P002/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)