Trump, Putin discuss Syria in lengthy phone call

From left President of Iran Hassan Rouhani Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the start of the talks in Sochi on Wednesday
Trump, Putin discuss Syria in lengthy phone call

22 November, 2017

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar met his Russian and Iranian counterparts to discuss security issues, collaboration in the fight against terror groups as well as the reduction of violence in Syria and de-escalation zones, which were established after the Astana talks, the statement said.

On the phone call, the Kremlin said the USA and Russian presidents also discussed Trump's criticism of the Iranian nuclear deal, unrest in Ukraine, and counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan. The White House was expected to release a full readout of the call later Tuesday.

"On the 20th of November talks took place between the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the president of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad, who was in Russia on a working visit", the statement said.

Assad thanked Putin for Russia's help in fighting terrorism and maintaining Syria's territorial integrity, according to the transcript.

Trump and Putin spoke informally several times earlier this month when they attended a summit in Vietnam.

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The Russian president is due to meet the leaders of Turkey and Iran for a summit on Syria tomorrow.

Those efforts have been marked by a halting pace, as the relationship has been strained in part by the domestic political situation in the USA stemming from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The United States has backed various rebel forces in Syria as well as the SDF, which has battled the Islamic State jihadist group, while Russian Federation is an even more active party to the conflict, carrying out air strikes directly in support of Assad's forces.

Trump and Putin have had some success on Syria, brokering a ceasefire in southwest Syria last summer.

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