UN General Assembly: US and Russia hint at compromise on Syria

Divisions among world leaders on Syria have been laid bare in speeches at the UN General Assembly.

The US and France insisted Syria’s President Assad must go, but Russia said it would be an “enormous mistake” not to work with him to tackle Islamic State (IS) militants, the BBC report.

However, the US and Russia did hint at compromise. Barack Obama said he would work with any nation and Vladimir Putin called for a “broad coalition”.

In his speech, Mr Obama said compromise among powers would be essential to ending the Syrian conflict, which has claimed more than 200,000 lives and forced four million to flee abroad.

“Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully,” he said.

“The US is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognise that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.”

Speaking soon after, Mr Putin said it was an “enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces who are valiantly fighting terrorism face-to-face”.

He also called for the creation of a “broad anti-terror coalition” to fight IS, comparing it to the international forces that fought against Nazi Germany in World War Two.

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