- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2015

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin crossed paths Monday afternoon at a United Nations General Assembly luncheon in New York City, hours before the two men sit down for a highly anticipated face-to-face meeting.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin clinked glasses following a toast from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the lunch, which also was attended by numerous other world leaders. Mr. Putin reportedly smiled during the brief exchange, while Mr. Obama did not.

Mr. Obama gave his own toast at the event, ending it with “may we never abandon the pursuit of peace.”

The two leaders were drinking a sparkling wine, describe by pool reporters as Rose petillant Luigi Gusta Bolla Rosa.

In a speech to the General Assembly earlier in the day, Mr. Obama again called on Russia to cease its aggression in Ukraine and take constructive steps in the fight against the Islamic State. He also boasted that he is the leader of “the strongest military the world has ever known,” an apparent jab at Mr. Putin.

In their meeting later Monday, Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin are expected to discuss Ukraine and the worsening situation in Syria.

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