US and Russian presidents hold first known phone conversation since missile strikes last month, addressing is the issue of safe zones and eradicating terrorism
Donald Trump had a very good conversation with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, about a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian civil war, including the creation of safe zones , the White House said on Tuesday.
The two leaders held their first known phone debate since last months US missile ten-strikes against a Syrian government airbase soured closer relations between Washington and Moscow.
President Trump and President Putin agreed that the suffering in Syria has gone on for too long and that all parties must do all they can to end the violence, a White House statement said. The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons.
The US said it would be sending a representative to ceasefire talks in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on Wednesday. Trump and Putin also discussed cooperation to eradicate terrorism throughout the Countries of the middle east and how best to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea.
A Kremlin readout of the phone call said Trump and Putin had focused on the possibility of coordinating Russian and US actions for the fight against international terrorism in the context of the Syria crisis and agreed to work to establish a real ceasefire there.
As for North Korea, Putin called for restraint and lowering the level of tension on the Korean peninsula.
The readout also laid a timeline for the long awaited face-to-face session between Trump and Putin, who had voiced appreciation for each other before tensions rose last month.
The two leaders spoke out in favour of organising a personal session in connection with the session of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg on 7-8 July.
Putins spokesman previously indicated the pair could meet on the sidelines of the summit, but there had been no concrete agreed to by this.
Trump faced domestic criticism over what he did not talk about in Tuesdays phone call. Adrienne Watson, the deputy communications director of the Democratic National Committee, said: Trumps bromance with Putin appears to be back on track. Instead of sending Putin a tough message on backing Assads brutal regime, Trump appears to be opting for a strategy of appeasement.
Just days ago, Trump once again casting doubt on whether Russia assaulted our democracy. With no apparent talk of Russias abysmal record on human rights , no clear message on Assads future in Syria, and no censure of Russias continued aggressivenes in Ukraine, its clear that is likely, Putin is get what he wants from Trump.
The US chairman is already confront criticism for expressing appreciation for authoritarian figures. He has praised Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdoan of Turkey on a controversial referendum win, described North Koreas Kim Jong-un as a pretty smart cookie and invited Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines to the White House.
Trump and Putin have spoken twice since the US president took office in January, including early last month following an attack in St Petersburg.
But the relationship suffered a setback when Trump ordered missile ten-strikes against Syrian government targets in early April after the regime employed chemical weapons in a deadly attack on civilians. Russia condemned the intervention.
Trump who spent months saying he hoped to get along with Putin declared that relations between America and Russia may be at an all-time low. Tillerson and the UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, also spoke out against Moscows role in supporting Syrias president, Bashar Assad.
Days subsequently, however, Trump expressed hope on Twitter that things will work out fine with Russia and everyone will come to their senses.
The FBI and two congressional committees are investigating whether Trumps campaign coordinated with Russia as it meddled in last few years presidential election. Trump has vigorously denied any improper ties to Moscow, calling the Russian investigations a hoax.
Over the weekend he retreated from his earlier acceptance of the intelligence communitys determining that Russia was responsible for hacking senior Democrat emails.
Asked whether he believed that Russians tried to meddle in the election, he told CBSs Face the Nation: That, I dont know. I dont know. The president said its very hard to say who was behind a hacker without catching the hacker in the act.
With that being said, Ill go along with Russia, Trump said. Couldve been China, couldve been a lot of different groups.
Meanwhile, two US Senators known for their tough stand on Russia have advised their colleagues to enforce comprehensive sanctions in response to its involvement in the election. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a joint statement: Now is not the time to send a signal to Russia that all is forgotten or forgiven.
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