UNITED NATIONS – Russia and United States have agreed to call urgent military talks to head off the risk of clashes between their forces, after Moscow's dramatic entrance into the Syrian war.
Senior US officials expressed alarm after Russian warplanes began their first military engagement outside the former Soviet Union since 1979.
But, after sharp public comments in Washington and the United Nations, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian opposite number Sergei Lavrov put a brave face on the dispute.
Appearing together on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, they said they would hold "de-confliction" talks and had drawn up proposals to relaunch a Syrian political peace process.
"We agreed on the imperative of as soon as possible – perhaps even as soon as tomorrow, but as soon as possible – having a military to military de-confliction discussion," Kerry said.
Lavrov agreed their talks had been useful and both men said they would take their ideas for the political process back to their respective presidents, Russia's Vladimir Putin and the US's Barack Obama. -- AFP