Putin, Obama leave G20 talks with unwavering views on Syria – Putin

ST. PETERSBURG, (PNA/RIA Novosti) -– Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that his meeting with US leader Barack Obama was “constructive,” but added that they held by their opinions on Syria.

“Our conversation lasted about 20 or 30 minutes. It was very substantial, … constructive and friendly,” Putin told journalists after the two-day G20 summit in St. Petersburg. The meeting was, “at least, in a friendly atmosphere.”

“Each of us has kept his own opinion [on Syria]. But there is dialogue, we hear each other, understand the arguments,” the Russian president said. “I disagree with his. He disagrees with mine.”

Obama said the conversation with Putin was frank and constructive.

The unrest in Syria began in March 2011 and later escalated into a civil war. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, according to United Nations estimates.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Wednesday to give US President Obama the authority to use military force against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack last month.

Russia has urged all sides in the Syrian civil war to use diplomatic means to end it.