HANGZHOU, China (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. and Russia haven’t given up on negotiations that could stem the bloodshed in Syria.
But he acknowledges that leaders are challenged by what he calls “gaps of trust” between the rival powers.
Speaking at a news conference in China, Obama says there are some significant sticking points in the negotiations over creating a U.S. and Russian military partnership that would focus firepower on “common enemies” in Syria.
He says a flurry of diplomacy at the economic summit in China — and a 90-minute meeting earlier today with Vladimir Putin — did not result in a breakthrough.
Obama didn’t detail the trouble spots — but he suggested that the U.S. has concerns about Russia holding up its end of the bargain and enforcing the terms.
Any deal would depend on Moscow using its influence with Syrian President Bashar Assad to persuade the Syrian leader to ground planes and stop the assault on opposition forces.