Later, Obama and Putin met face-to-face for 95 minutes, their first formal meeting in more than two years. The meeting was scheduled to last only an hour.
Putin told reporters after the meeting that Russia has not ruled out joining U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria but would not send ground troops into combat. He said any Russian action will be in accordance with international law.
The Russian leader said he and Obama discussed the coalition's action against the Islamic State and called the talks "very constructive, business-like and frank."
A U.S. official said the two leaders agreed during the meeting about a need for political transition in Syria, but they continued to disagree on Assad's role and whether he should stay in power.
The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the private meeting and insisted on anonymity, said the United States does not view Russia's recent military buildup in Syria as necessarily harmful, but that will depend on whether Russia uses the equipment to fight the Islamic State or to strengthen Assad's battle against his own people.
Vladimir Putin walked out of 95 min meeting with Obama - when asked how the meeting went he said "very good." pic.twitter.com/ZJjPNn2L2y
- Sonia Moghe (@soniamoghe) 28 сентября 2015
After his meeting with Obama, Putin said that Russian troops would not be fighting on the battlefield in Syria, according to the Associated Press via abc news.
The U.S., in turn, has expressed frustration as it tries to prop up a small group of moderate rebels in the country, who oppose Assad as in the same vein, if not worse, than ISIS.