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Putin, Obama discuss peace conference on Syria over phone

January 21, 2014, 22:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The conference, dubbed “Geneva-2,” will be held in Montreux, Switzerland, on Wednesday

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© AP/Evan Vucci

MOSCOW, January 21,  /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Barack Obama have discussed an upcoming peace conference on Syria by phone, the Kremlin said in a statement Tuesday.

The conference, dubbed “Geneva-2,” will be held in Montreux, Switzerland, on Wednesday. The meeting, arranged by the United States and Russia, is designed to negotiate ways to end the civil war in the Middle East country that, according to the United Nations, has left over 100,000 people dead and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

The phone conversation between Putin and Obama, requested by the US side, was businesslike and constructive, the Kremlin statement said.

The leaders also touched upon a number of other urgent issues, including implementation of deals to settle the Iranian nuclear problem, reached in November 2013. In addition, the presidents exchanged opinions on further development of Russian-US trade and economic relations.

Geneva-2 will be attended by foreign ministers and high-ranking diplomats from 39 countries, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the leaders of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, delegations of the Syrian government and opposition.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has already arrived in Geneva to later head for the city of Montreux to attend the event. Lavrov is likely to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday.

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