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Obama, Putin discuss Syria crisis — White House

US president welcomes the reduction of violence since the beginning of the cessation of hostilities
By The News · 14 of March 2016 16:50:59
People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki, No available

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the crisis in Syria and Putin’s announcement of a partial withdrawal of Russian forces, the White House said in a statement.

Obama welcomed the reduction in violence since the beginning of the cessation of hostilities, but he stressed that continuing offensive actions by Syrian government forces risk undermining peace efforts, the statement said.

Obama also noted some progress on humanitarian assistance efforts in Syria and emphasized the need for Syrian government forces to allow unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance, the White House said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 14, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin.