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Obama, Putin agree to promote ties

03-10-2012 09:40 BJT

WASHINGTON, March 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S President Barack Obama and Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin agreed on Friday to build on the successful reset in bilateral relations.

Obama made a phone call to Putin on his Air Force One special plane en route Richmond, Virginia to congratulate him on his victory in the March 4 presidential election, the White House said.

Obama and Putin, the incumbent Russian prime minister, highlighted achievements in U.S.-Russia relations made over the past three years with President Dmitry Medvedev, including cooperation on Afghanistan and Iran, the conclusion and ratification of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and Russia's recent accession to the World Trade Organization.

The reset in relations with Russia has been hailed a signature foreign policy achievement for the Obama administration. However, bilateral ties have cooled down in the last few months.

"President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed that the successful reset in relations should be built upon during the coming years," the White House said in a statement.

The two leaders outlined areas for future cooperation, including boosting trade and investment relations, and they agreed to continue discussions on areas where the two countries have differed, including Syria and missile defense.

"President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed to continue their efforts to find common ground and remove obstacles to better relations," the White House said, noting Obama looks forward to hosting Putin at the G8 summit on May 18-19 at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland state.

Putin was declared the winner of the presidential election on Wednesday evening by the Russian Central Election Commission.

When asked why it took Obama days to make a call to Putin, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One that "It's my understanding that it took a little while to schedule the call. But I don't have any of the details on that."

"Our policy towards Russia is based on our interests and not on personalities," White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a regular news briefing a day earlier.


Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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