Diplomacy is being stepped up to try to reach a consensus on how to proceed on Syria.
The eighth round of UN-sponsored talks on Syria since 2012 is set to get underway in Geneva, though the Assad regime has not yet named a delegation. Talks hosted by Russia have led to hopes there may be a breakthrough.
Russia has dismissed a UN inquiry report blaming the Syrian government for a deadly chemical attack. Moscow's move raises serious questions over whether the UN mandate for the investigative task force will be renewed.
In a joint statement on Syria, the US president and his Russian counterpart have agreed to fight "IS" extremists together. At a regional summit, the leaders also denied claims of Moscow interference in the US election.
Russia inherited a massive chemical weapons stockpile from the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. Its decision to put an end to that deadly legacy has been met with praise.
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