Obama, Putin Agree on Cooperation to Implement Syria Agreement

MOSCOW (Reuters) -
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hand with Syria President Bashar Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Russia’s involvement in Syria has led to resumed talks about Syria’s future in Vienna. So far there’s no progress but at least there are talks, notable for including Iran, at Russia’s insistence, for the first time. They are notable as well for easing the Kremlin’s isolation after its takeover of Crimea and backing for pro-Moscow forces fighting the central government in Ukraine. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R.) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Oct. 20, 2015. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed to intensify diplomatic and other cooperation to implement an agreement on Syria struck at talks in Munich, the Kremlin said in a statement following phone talks between the two leaders on Sunday.

Major powers agreed on Friday to a temporary “cessation of hostilities” in Syria. The pause is due to begin in a week’s time.

After phone talks between Putin and Obama on Sunday, the Kremlin said that both gave a “positive evaluation” to the meeting on Syria in Munich on Feb. 11-12.

“In particular, support was expressed for efforts of two target groups: for cease-fire and humanitarian aspects,” the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin added that during the talks, the need to establish close working contacts between the Defense Ministries of Russia and the U.S. was underlined, which would allow them to “successfully fight the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations.”

The Kremlin also said that Putin spoke with Obama about the importance of creating a united antiterrorism front. They also discussed the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.