(Reuters) -U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Monday that the violence in Syria must stop but gave no sign of agreeing on how to do it even as Syrian security forces pounded opposition areas across the country.
Intense artillery fire was reported in Douma, a town 15 km (9 miles) outside the Syrian capital Damascus that for weeks has been under the partial control of rebels who have joined the 15-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
At least 79 people were killed in violence that has escalated since international observers suspended their mission, activists said.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...85D0IS20120619Obama and Putin held two hours of talks - longer than originally planned - at a Group of 20 summit in Mexico after a week of Cold War-style recriminations between U.S. and Russian diplomats over Syria. Putin frowned and Obama wore a sober expression during remarks to reporters after the meeting.
"We agreed that we need to see a cessation of the violence, that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war," Obama told reporters.
"From my point of view, we have found many common points on this issue" of Syria, Putin said, adding the two sides would continue discussions.
Obama said they pledged to "work with other international actors," including U.N./Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, to find a resolution.
Obama initiated a handshake for the cameras while the two remained seated. At the end of their statements, as reporters were being ushered out, both sat glumly watching but made no move to re-engage with each other. It was the first Obama-Putin meeting since 2009.
A picture says a thousand words: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...UmV_story.html
Obama and Putin had a brisk handshake at the end, and their tones were cool. Putin campaigned last year with some of the harshest anti-American rhetoric from Russia in a decade, and his return to the top job in Russia ensures that cooperation with the United States will come at a cost.
White House officials played down the notion of tense relationship between the two leaders, saying the businesslike approach was simply Putinís style.Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/06...#ixzz1yESIEk5dIn a departure from previous statements, Obama called for a "political process," that would end horrific violence in Syria, but he did not say Assad must go. Obama's careful language appeared designed to give the Russian some elbow room.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/world/1...-be-eased.htmlSharing pledges of common ground, yet hardly much eye contact or obvious kinship in front of reporters, Obama and Putin met for the first time since the Russian leader returned to the presidency last month.
The demeanor of both leaders was cool and detached as they avoided any explicit comment on the differences that divide them, or solutions to end the chaos in Syria.
It was a personal dynamic that contrasted sharply with the chumminess that Putin and Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush - dubbed "The George and Vladimir Show" by the media - used to show in their meetings.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...85H1LN20120618Obama sometimes gestured toward Putin as he spoke but Putin sat more stiffly through the joint appearance. At the end of their statements, as reporters were being ushered out, both sat glumly watching but made no move to re-engage with each other.
The hardened tone appears to mark the endpoint of Obama's "reset" of ties with Russia, pursued with Putin's predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev, and touted by the White House as a signature foreign policy accomplishment.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...?newsfeed=trueThere was little sign of rapprochement at Los Cabos, with Obama describing the discussion as 'candid', diplomatic-speak for disagreement. Their body language was poor too, with no smiles and little eye contact between the two in the short period in which journalists were invited in.
Interesting that many news sources are reporting their body language being tense and such.