Obama and Putin talk Iran, Syria, Olympics

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 21, 2014 

TRAVEL WLT-SOCHI 6 LA

The Sochi Winter Olympics in February will include many events in the Laura biathlon and ski complex, which stands upslope from the green-roofed Grand Hotel Polyana.

CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS — Los Angeles Times/MCT

President Obama spoke with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin -- weeks before the Olympics opens in Sochi, Russia and as talks begin in Geneva to find a way to end three years of violence in Syria.

The two discussed "how best to advance shared U.S.-Russian interests, including a safe and secure Sochi Olympics, for which the United States has offered its full assistance," the White House said.

The State Department has issued a travel warning for Americans heading to the Winter Games and the White House has said it would like "closer cooperation" with Russia to ensure the safety of Olympic athletes and spectators.

Analysts say terrorism has the potential to interrupt the games, even if an attack never happens at the games themselves.

The White House says the two discussed the situation in Syria, including preparations for the Geneva II conference and the ongoing international program to remove and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

They also discussed U.S.-Russian cooperation in the P5+1 process on Iran and the start this week of implementation of the Joint Plan of Action, which the White House says "will halt progress on Iran’s nuclear program and roll it back in key respects."

They also agreed to work on concrete steps to increase bilateral trade and investment.

 

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