Putin, Obama advance in understanding each other's positions on Syria

President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Barack Obama have advanced in understanding each other's position on the situation in Syria, but disagreements persist on practical ways of settling it.

"Putin and Obama can now better understand nuances of each other's positions. But disagreements remain on the practical aspects of settlement," Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters in Moscow.

Putin and Obama held telephone talks on Wednesday.

The talks were held on Obama's initiative. They lasted 50 minutes and were about Syria, he said.

"The discussion covered Assad as a political figure, with an emphasis on the two draft resolutions," he said.

"The Russian side failed to convince the American colleagues, but a common estimation was achieved of the complexity of the situation in Syria, and of what is going on there, and that the settlement must be put on a constructive track," Ushakov said.

The Russian and American presidents agreed to remain in touch on the Syrian issue and on other international problems, he said.

Ushakov added that Russia condemns terrorist attacks sporadically taking place in Syria, including the latest one that killed high-ranking Syrian officials, no matter who commits them.

"Everything was about, first, the exacerbation of the situation, which is approaching toward a civil war, and Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] talked about this, and, second, about the terrorist attack. As for the terrorist attack, we reaffirmed our strong position that we condemn such terrorist attacks, whoever commits them," he said.

Russia expects the U.S. to join this condemnation, he said.

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