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Americas

Bush, Medvedev agree on 'practical' cooperation

Text by REUTERS

Latest update : 2008-11-23

US President George W. Bush met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the ongoing APEC summit in Peru. The two leaders agreed to work together in a practical way despite differences during their last summit.

The United States and Russia said Saturday they hoped to cooperate on issues of global concern despite persistent differences at their last summit under US President George W. Bush.

Bush met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Peru on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit and discussed a range of issues including Georgia. Russia was outraged by US support for its neighbor with which it went to war in August.

"Both presidents noticed that differences remain in our relations but there was a unanimous wish, and President Bush said this, not to get hung up on such problems that always exist between big powers," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters after the talks.

Lavrov said Bush and Medvedev agreed "to deal in a practical way with issues that are important for both countries and the whole world."

He listed as an example an agreement with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to cooperate on fighting piracy off the coast of troubled Somalia.

Lavrov hoped that Russia would continue practical cooperation with president-elect Barack Obama, who succeeds Bush on January 20.

"We agreed to continue to meet and discuss after President Bush leaves the White House," Lavrov said.

The White House said that they specifically agreed to cooperate into the new administration on Iran. Russia has been critical of the Western push for new sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

"They talked about the need for the two nations to continue to work together on Iran and that it is important for that cooperation to continue into the new administration" of Obama, said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Perino described Bush's final exchange with Medvedev as a "cordial, but honest and direct exchange."

"They discussed a variety of issues including our differences on Georgia, which continue," she said.

Date created : 2008-11-23