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Obama and Putin to Meet Face-to-Face to Confront Rising Tensions Over Russia's Military Engagement in Syria, Ukraine

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"The president believed it would be irresponsible to let this occasion in which the two leaders would be in the same city pass without trying to test to see whether progress could be made on these newly intractable crises."

In this June 17, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- Face-to-face for the first time in nearly a year, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday will confront rising tensions over Moscow's military engagement in Syria, as well as the stubborn crisis in Ukraine.

Underscoring their deep differences, the U.S. and Russia couldn't even agree on the purpose of the meeting, which will occur on the sidelines of an annual United Nations summit. The White House said it would focus on Ukraine and getting Moscow to live up to a fragile peace plan. The Kremlin said Ukraine would be discussed only if time allowed, with Syria and the fight against the Islamic State dominating the discussions.

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