Obama and Putin Met at the G20, Issued Joint Statement
June 19, 2012 • 8:07AM

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for a private bilateral discussion of nearly two hours Monday, in Los Cabos, Mexico, at the G20 meeting. A joint statement was issued, of 18 paragraphs, covering over a dozen topics, from trade to a New START Treaty, for each of which, the diplomatic language expressed mutual interest in solutions, even if "assessments" differed.

On Syria, the Joint Statement expresses "full support for the efforts of UN/League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, including moving forward on political transition to a democratic, pluralistic political system that would be implemented by the Syrians themselves in the framework of Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity..."

Following the private talks, the two appeared together to address reporters. Obama spoke much longer than Putin, who gave brief, specific points. He said, "We were able to discuss security issues, as well as bilateral economic relations." And on Syria, "We discussed international problems, including Syria. In my view we found many points of tangency on all these issues. And we shall continue to be in contact, both personally and on the level of experts and ministers." Otherwise, he thanked Obama for supporting Russia's entry to the WTO, and invited him to Russia.