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Monday, September 5, 2016, 13:44

Obama, Putin agree to continue seeking Syria deal

By Associated Press

Obama, Putin agree to continue seeking Syria deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with US President Barack Obama in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Sept 5, 2016. (Photo/AP)

HANGZHOU, China — President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to keep up negotiations over a cease-fire agreement for Syria, a senior Obama administration official said Monday.

Obama and Putin met for 90 minutes on the sidelines of the Group of 20 economic summit in Hangzhou, China, said the official, who spoke only on grounds of anonymity because this official wasn't authorized to discuss the subject by name.

Their discussion came hours after top US and Russian diplomats failed to seal a deal aimed at providing access to humanitarian aid for thousands of civilians in the war-torn country.

Obama, Putin agree to continue seeking Syria deal
US Secretary of State John Kerry, center, walks through the Hangzhou International Expo Center during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, Sept 4, 2016. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were trying to hash out a deal Sunday to end years of brutal fighting between Syria's Russian-backed government and US-supported rebels. (Photo/AP)

The plan would forge an unlikely US-Russian militarily partnership against extremist groups operating in Syria.

Obama and Putin clarified the remaining gaps in the talks, which largely involve how the deal would be implemented, the official said.

The official added that the two leaders directed their teams to meet again quickly, possibly as soon as later this week.

Obama had a news conference scheduled at the summit site later Monday.

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