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Obama, Putin Agree to Disagree on Syria

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Russian President Vladimir Putin says the U.S. and Russia differ on Syria, but they agree that the violence must stop and all parties must negotiate a settlement.

Mr. Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed Syria Monday on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Obama thanked the Russian president for what he called a useful conversation. He agreed that their opinions on Syria do not coincide. But he said both sides share an interest in stopping the violence and the use and spread of chemical weapons.

Neither mentioned whether they discussed U.S. plans to send arms to the Syrian rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia has been sending weapons to the Syrian government, saying it is only fulfilling contracts.



President Obama announced Monday that the United States will provide another $300 million to feed, shelter and provide medical care for the nearly 5 million war refugees inside and outside Syria. Much of the money will go to helping Syrians living in camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt.

The White House says it recognizes the strain that the refugee crisis is imposing on these nations, but urges them to keep their borders open to those fleeing the war.

The United States is the world's largest contributor of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees. It has given almost $815 million over the last two years.

The G-8 summit at the Lough Erne resort in Northern Ireland is being hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron. The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan also are in attendance. The G8 countries account for 50 percent of the world's economic output. But they still are struggling to emerge from the depths of the global recession of 2008 and 2009.

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