Los Cabos (Mexico): US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for an end to violence in Syria and said its people should be allowed to democratically decide their future.

"In order to stop the bloodshed in Syria, we call for an immediate cessation of all violence," the leaders said in a joint statement, after meeting in Mexico following days of antagonism between Moscow and Washington on the issue.

"We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future."

Putin told reporters after meeting Obama for the first time since he returned to the presidency that the two leaders had found "many common points" on Syria, where violence is spiraling into an all-out civil war.

Washington has become increasingly frustrated over Moscow's refusal to allow the UN Security Council to take firmer action against President Bashar al-Assad over his brutal crackdown on civilians.

Obama said after the two hours of talks that both he and Putin agreed on the need for a "political process" to prevent civil war in Syria and pledged to work with UN envoy Kofi Annan to try to end the crisis.

In their statement, the leaders said that Syria's future must be worked out by "Syrians themselves" in the "framework of Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity."

(Agencies)

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