US secretary of state, John Kerry, has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to help find “common ground” over the conflict in Syria, as he believes the US and Russia had shared interests in the country.
Kerry told Putin at the start of talks in the Kremlin on Tuesday, that efforts to end the two-year-old conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people in Syria are among issues on which the former Cold War foes can work together.
“The United States believes that we share some very significant common interests with respect to Syria – stability in the region, not having extremists creating problems throughout the region and elsewhere,” Kerry said.
Putin in his response said government has agreed to cooperate in maintaining the stability in Syria and make sure the country does not descend into further violence.
Putin also announced that he will hold separate one-on-one talks with President Barack Obama at the G-8 Summit in Northern Island on June 16 and 17.
Both the US and Russia endorsed a plan for a political solution for Syria last June but have differed over how to implement it.
Kerry said President Obama also believes Russia and the US could cooperate “significantly” on issues including North Korea, Iran and economic ties, which both sides said have not lived up to their potential.
Kerry’s visit is part of an effort to improve relations between Russia and the US, which have been strained by disagreements over issues including human rights and Syria since Putin’s return to the Kremlin a year ago.