President Obama wrapped up a meeting with leaders from eight of the world's top economic powers Tuesday. The official agenda centers around trade and taxes, but the talk in private meetings was all about Syria.
President Obama, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, had a two-hour meeting Monday on the Syria civil war. According Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, Obama and Putin had a " very candid and wide ranging discussion."
Russia and the U.S. remain on opposing sides of the Syrian civil war. The U.S. plans to arm rebel fighters in Syria. Russia supports Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.
Both promised to push their sides to attend a peace conference in Geneva this summer.
"We want to try to resolve the issue through political means if possible," said President Obama.
President Putin added, "we agreed to push both parties to the negotiations table."
Before leaving for Ireland, President Obama sounded pessimistic that the Geneva conference would even happen, much less that it would lead to and end to the war. Obama cited support from Russia, and Iran, as Assad's reason to not engage in a political transition.
President Obama announced Monday the U.S. will send $300 million to help the victims and refugees of the war. The White House says the U.S has already spent $500 million on humanitarian aid bringing the total for the region to $800 million.
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