Barack Obama meets Russian security official prior to meeting with Vladimir Putin

Putin and ObamaRussian President Vladimir Putin with American Preisdent Barack Obama (Reuters)

Ahead of meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-8 summit next month, US President Barack Obama has met a top Russian security official and discussed issues related to Syria and counter-terrorism cooperation, the White House said.

In his meeting with Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev, Obama and his National Security Advisor Tom Donilon discussed a host of bilateral and global issues including Syria.

"The President reaffirmed his desire to strengthen the bilateral relationship, including US-Russian economic ties," US National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said.

"They also discussed the importance of deepening counter- terrorism cooperation and the need for a negotiated political settlement in Syria," Hayden added.

Obama noted he looked forward to seeing Putin in June at the G-8 Summit, the spokesperson said. Patrushev also met Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon yesterday.

They discussed a range of issues including missile defense, increasing military to military cooperation and the ongoing crisis in Syria, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

"Hagel looks forward to continued dialogue with Russian security leaders and meeting with his counterpart, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, in the future," Little said.

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