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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on the President's Meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

President Obama met with Foreign Minister Lavrov today and discussed a range of bilateral and international issues.  The President thanked the Foreign Minister for his efforts to complete a new bilateral agreement on visa liberalization as well as a new agreement on adoptions, both of which will touch many lives in Russia and the United States.  President Obama expressed his support for Russia’s efforts to mediate a political solution in Libya, emphasizing that the United States is prepared to support negotiations that lead to a democratic transition in Libya as long as Qadhafi steps aside. Both parties discussed the need to continue cooperation towards a peaceful transition in Sudan and South Sudan.  They also discussed the challenge presented by Iran’s failure to live up to its obligations with regard to its nuclear program, the role of the international community in preventing further violence and pressing for political change in Syria and Yemen, and next steps on Middle East Peace in the wake of the Quartet meetings earlier in the week.  President Obama thanked Foreign Minister Lavrov for his efforts regarding Nagorno-Karabakh and underscored the U.S. commitment to achieve a framework agreement.  President Obama and Foreign Minister Lavrov also discussed the opportunities for cooperation on missile defense in Europe.  President Obama reaffirmed his strong support for Russia’s efforts to complete its WTO accession process this year, and discussed the necessity of granting Russia Permanent Normalized Trade Relations.   President Obama and Foreign Minister Lavrov also discussed issues of democracy and human rights, including the tragedy surrounding the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.