Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday Moscow and London can overcome differences on Syria and should focus on the common aim of ending the conflict.
“We should put aside our differences and focus on common ground which is that there is a humanitarian crisis in Syria,” Cameron said after talks with President Vladimir Putin on the eve of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Cameron said although Russia and Britain have “big differences” between the analysis of what happened in Syria and who is to blame for the bloodshed, they can overcome their disagreements if they recognize that they “share some fundamental aims: to end the conflict, to stop Syria breaking apart, to let the Syrian people decide who governs them and to take the fight to the extremists and defeat them.”
After talks, Putin and Cameron will travel to Northern Ireland, which hosts the summit of the world leaders on June 17-18.
Speaking on the upcoming summit, Cameron said “we will use the opportunity of having G8 leaders together to try and build on this common ground” on the conflict.
Some 93,000 people are believed to have died since fighting broke out between Syrian government forces and rebels in March 2011, according to the latest UN figures.
Both sides in the ongoing Syrian civil war have traded allegations of chemical weapons use, with government officials accusing opposition forces of using chemical weapons against Assad’s military in a March attack outside of the northern city of Aleppo.
Putin also said Sunday’s talks with Cameron were “substantive and constructive.” He said in 2012 the Russian-British trade rose almost 10 percent, year-on-year, and in the first four months of 2013 it grew over 15 percent. The Russian leader said he hoped Moscow and London will continue their space and energy cooperation.