Putin and Obama agree to intensify coordination in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed during a telephone call Wednesday to "intensify" military coordination between their two countries in Syria, the Kremlin said, according to AFP.

"The two parties have confirmed their desire to intensify coordination between the Russian and American militaries in Syria," the Kremlin said in a statement quoted by the news agency.

Putin also called on Obama to help aid the separation of moderate opposition groups from "terrorist groups like the Al-Nusra front", it said.

They both stressed the importance of restarting UN-sponsored Syria peace talks after two rounds of negotiations held in Geneva since the start of the year ended without progress.

Russia and the U.S. have already been cooperating in Syria with Moscow calling for "decisive joint action against Al-Nusra" in June.

Russia proposed joint air strikes with the U.S. against jihadist targets in Syria in May, a proposal that was rejected immediately by Washington.

Moscow has been involved in air strikes in Syria since October of 2015, when it conducted its first air strikes in the wor torn country.

Washington and its allies — engaged in their own air war — have accused Russia of targeting moderate rebels and of seeking to prop up Bashar Al-Assad's regime.

On Wednesday, during a visit to Georgia ahead of a NATO summit, Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed a 72-hour ceasefire announced by the Syrian army to coincide with Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

He added that he hoped a more long-term cessation of hostilities will follow.

The last truce in the country was declared on February 27 between regime and non-jihadist rebel groups after being brokered by Russia and the United States.

The ceasefire all but collapsed after repeated violations.

AFP contributed to this report.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214608

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