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Judo diplomacy as Putin, Cameron talk Syria

Thursday, August 02, 2012 - 02:18

Aug. 2 - Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron take in an Olympic judo event following a cordial but tense discussion about Syria. Deborah Gembara reports.

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On his first visit to London in nine years --- Russian President Vladimir Putin was treated to judo diplomacy. British Prime Minister David Cameron invited Putin, a black belt, to watch Olympians grapple for the sport's top prize. The Olympics related show of unity came after the two leaders grappled over Syria --- Russia's closest ally in the Middle East. SOUNDBITE: PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "While of course there have been some differences in the positions that we've taken over the Syrian conflict, we both want to see an end to that conflict and a stable Syria. And we will continue to discuss with our foreign ministers how we can take this agenda forward." SOUNDBITE: RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "We spoke also a lot about Syria. We made notice of the fact that there are some things we see eye to eye, identically. And we agreed to continue working to find a viable solution on that matter and we agreed to entrust our foreign affairs ministries to go on with that search for a viable solution." Cameron and other western powers have urged Putin to back UN efforts to remove President Bashar al Assad from power --- efforts the Russian president has so far rejected. The British PM also broached the subject of human rights amid what some have called a worrying crackdown on dissents in Russia. Outside, demonstrators held up signs supporting an anti-Putin female punk band who are currently on trial in Moscow. SOUNDBITE: Protester, Andrey Sidelnikov saying: "I am here to support Pussy Riot. Because I think that these girls must [be] let out of the prison, and for songs, you can't be in prison. You can't [be] detained." The leaders ended their talks with discussions about Russia's plans to host the 2014 winter Olympics. Putin said he hoped to glean some pointers from his British counterpart about hosting such a large scale event. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.

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Judo diplomacy as Putin, Cameron talk Syria

Thursday, August 02, 2012 - 02:18