U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday about the situation in Syria and the importance of Russia pressing the Syrian regime for a lasting halt to attacks against civilians and groups agreeing to a cessation of hostilities.
The White House said the two presidents confirmed their commitment to defeating Islamic State and the al-Nusrah Front, the Syria-based al-Qaida affiliate. President Obama also emphasized the need for progress on a political transition in Syria as a means of ending the conflict. He also pushed for sustained access to humanitarian aid for victims of the conflict.
The Kremlin said Wednesday that Obama and Putin agreed to "intensify" military coordination between their two militaries in Syria.
Obama and Putin also discussed the conflict in Ukraine. Obama urged Putin to take steps to end the escalation in fighting in eastern Ukraine. Obama also spoke with urgency about the importance of moving forward with "full implementation" of the Minsk agreements aimed at ending the conflict.
They also discussed Putin's recent meetings with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Serzh Sargsian of Armenia on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The White House said President Obama expressed his readiness to intensify efforts together with Russia and France to achieve a comprehensive settlement to the conflict.
Along with the U.S. and Russia, France is a co-chair of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Minsk Group spearheads the effort to find a peaceful solution to the ethnic and territorial dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan.