US-Russia ‘Meeting of Minds’ on Syrian Strategy Still Missing - Obama

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Russian airstrikes in Syria - Sputnik International
The United States and Russia have not reached any common point on the Syrian conflict resolution despite the achieved understanding on deconfliction in the country’s air space, US President Barack Obama stated on Friday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The last round of talks between Washington and Moscow was held on October 14 by video conference.

"There is no meeting of the minds [between Russia and the United States] in terms of strategy [on Syria]," Obama said.

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The US president added that Moscow and Washington came to an agreement on the deconfliction "in the event US and Russia planes occupy similar space over Syrian skies."

US Defense Department spokesperson Michelle Baldanza told Sputnik earlier on Friday the United States and Russia continue technical-level discussions to conclude a memorandum on the flight safety during air missions over Syria.

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The US-led international coalition has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL extremists in Syria since 2014 without an approval of either the UN Security Council or the Damascus authority.

Russian jets commenced precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Unlike Russia, the United States does not recognize Assad as the country's legitimate authority.

Earlier this week, Putin said that Moscow, Washington and Brussels should work together to encourage the warring parties in Syria to engage in dialogue to find a political solution to the conflict. In turn, Washington claimed it would cooperate with Russia in its anti-ISIL fight, but only if Moscow accepted the US political strategy to remove Assad from power.

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