Obama, Putin meet privately to discuss Syria

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) President Barack Obama met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the midst of their dispute over how to respond to chemical weapons use in Syria.

Putin told reporters they spoke for 20 or 30 minutes Friday and focused on Syria. The Russian president says while they disagreed, the meeting was constructive.

The White House confirmed the meeting but offered no details.

Obama insists that the Syrian government is responsible for chemical weapons attacks against civilians and is pushing for the United States to respond with a military strike. But Putin says there's no firm evidence of that and opposes any action outside the United Nations.

President Obama says he will address the nation about Syria on Tuesday as he seeks public and congressional authority for military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Obama wants to strike against the Syrian regime in response to a chemical attack on civilians last month that the Obama administration says was carried out by Assad's military. Obama says failing to chemical weapons use would, quote, "send a signal to rogue nations."


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