Barack Obama to Vladimir Putin: ‘Cheers’

Updated 9:17 AM EDT, Tue September 29, 2015
(CNN) —  

Keep your friends close, and your enemies close enough to glare at during lunch.

That seems to be President Barack Obama’s operating theory at the United Nations Monday, where he sat one seat away from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a lunch for world leaders.

The two are bitterly at odds over Ukraine and Syria, and plan to talk out their rampant differences during a one-on-one meeting later in the day.

Related: Obama hits Putin at U.N. speech

But at lunch, civility appeared to prevail – barely.

“Amid the inevitable trials and setbacks, may we never relax in our pursuit of progress and may we never abandon the pursuit of peace,” Obama said in his toast, before grimly eyeing Putin and clinking glasses.


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