(LONDON) — On the eve of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in London Sunday to discuss the Syrian crisis.
Though Cameron and Putin both readily admit that they have disagreements over Syria, the two leaders said they both want to see an end to the conflict.
“We have a common goal and a common desire to provide conditions for the settlement of that conflict,” Putin said. “I can agree with the prime minister that it can, it should be done as soon as possible.”
“We can overcome these differences if we recognize that we share some fundamental aims: to end the conflict, to stop Syria breaking apart, to let the Syrian people choose who governs them, and to take the fight to the extremists and defeat them,” said Cameron, speaking to reporters after the meeting.
The two discussed how best to use the G8 Summit to help bring an end to the bloodshed in the embattled Middle East country. Cameron said they agreed that the G8 must back the work of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“The challenge for the G8 and for this process,” Cameron said, “is to try and put aside some of the differences and to focus on the common ground, where we both want to see a peace process, a transition, take place.”
Though they agreed upon the need to work to overcome their differences, Putin did make a point to defend Russia’s support of the Assad Regime.
“Russia supplies to the legitimate government of Syria in full compliance with the norms of international law,” he said. “We’re not breaching anything.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Mohammed Tawfeeq and Gul Tuysuz, CNN
Camille Verdier, Steve Visser and Margot Haddad, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Ralph Ellis and Steve Almasy, CNN