President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a face-to-face meeting at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on Monday.
It didn’t go so well.
The two leaders shared a tense exchange on Syria and came out of the meeting with broad disagreements over the Syrian conflict. The Obama administration committed last week to sending arms to Syrian rebel forces, while Russia has publicly backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and do not believe a successful transition includes Assad stepping down from power.
“With respect to Syria, we do have differing perspectives on the problem, but we share an interest in reducing the violence; securing chemical weapons and ensuring that they’re neither used nor are they subject to proliferation; and that we want to try to resolve the issue through political means, if possible,” Obama said after the meeting.
The Obama-Putin bilateral meeting was marked by chilly, icy, and somewhat miserable-looking expressions. Here’s one photo that sums it up pretty well:
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