In a press conference Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama promised that the U.S. and Russia will continue negotiations to bring about a cease-fire in Syria, despite gaps that have so far prevented a deal from being reached.
The press conference took place at the end of the G-20 summit in China, after Obama and his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines.
"Given the gaps of trust that exist, that's a tough negotiation," Obama said. "We haven't yet closed the gaps in a way where we think it would actually work," he added, without going into detail. He hinted that the U.S. is concerned Moscow will not keep its end of a potential deal and will not rush to enforce agreed-upon conditions.
The meeting between Obama and Putin took place after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry conducted weekslong talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Kerry and Lavrov tried to finalize military cooperation between the countries in the fight against radical terrorist organizations, but without success.
The summit took place in the shadow of reports that Russia is interfering in the upcoming U.S. elections. American intelligence agencies believe Moscow is responsible for hacking the Democratic Party's computers a few months ago. Obama also expressed concern about cybersecurity issues in his meeting with Putin.
Putin was more optimistic after the meeting, saying Washington and Moscow could reach an agreement "within a few days." Putin further said he believes Obama's efforts to find a solution for Syria are genuine and that he feels he has found common ground and mutual understanding with his American counterpart on the issues with which Russia and the U.S. must deal.
Putin noted that diplomatic talks on the issue would continue, though he stressed that all steps forward must take into account Russia's other allies and partners, including Iran, which would be updated on any progress.
This a lightly edited version of the original article published by Israel Hayom at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=36213