US President Barack Obama and Russian Vladimir Putin faced off at the United Nations after disagreeing over the crisis in Syria.
The two leaders had their speeches at the annual United Nations General Assembly and had a dispute on whether Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad should remain in or abandon the Syrian Government.
The US President believed that the leader should be replaced while the Russian President thinks that keeping al-Assad is “the only viable option” to confront the ISIS.
Yahoo News reports that Obama urges a political transition in the Syrian government, and in his UN address, he said, “We must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo.”
Obama seemed to have made comments “directly at Mr. Putin” as reported in The New York Times. He said, “in accordance with this logic, we should support tyrants like Bashar al-Assad who drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent civilians because the alternative is surely worse.”
Meanwhile, Putin believes that “it would be a mistake to abandon the current government.” Yahoo News notes that his attendance in the assembly was his first in a decade.
Putin suggested that, “it’s a huge mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities, with the government forces, those who are bravely fighting terror face-to-face.”
Putin “spoke of creating a genuinely broad international coalition” and a Security Council resolution in fighting the ISIS. His remark “appeared to be a step to outmaneuver Mr. Obama,” according to The New York Times.
Other leaders had also backed up their arguments.
French President Francois Hollande believed in “Assad’s ouster” and said that “nobody can imagine a political solution in Syria if he is still in power” while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani believed that the Syrian leader could help fight the extremists, as reported on Yahoo News.
According to reports, during lunch, US President Obama and Russian President Putin even clinked their glasses and afterwards, also had a private meeting.