Washington: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday spoke over phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to peacefully resolving the Syrian civil war, the White House said.
During the lengthy conversation, the two leaders also discussed jointly fighting terrorist groups in the Middle East, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban in other parts, it said. “We had a great call with President Putin. We’re talking about peace in Syria -- very important. We’re talking about North Korea. We had a call that lasted almost an hour and a half," Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One on the White House lawns.
“We’re talking very strongly about bringing peace for Syria. We’re talking very strongly about North Korea and Ukraine," he said.
Both presidents supported the UN-led Geneva Process to peacefully resolve the Syrian civil war, end the humanitarian crisis, allow displaced Syrians to return home, and ensure the stability of a unified Syria free of malign intervention and terrorist safe havens, the White House said in a readout of the call.
“The two presidents affirmed the importance of fighting terrorism together throughout the Middle East and Central Asia and agreed to explore ways to further cooperate in the fight against ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist organisations," it said.
According to the White House, Trump and Putin also discussed how to implement a lasting peace in Ukraine, and the need to continue international pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear weapon and missile programs. Trump and Putin spoke informally several times last week when they attended a summit in Vietnam. They agreed on a number of principles for the future of war-torn Syria.
Trump spoke over phone with the Russian president, a day after Putin met with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Putin hosted Assad at a Black Sea resort ahead of a summit later this week with Russia, Turkey and Iran. The Kremlin said on Monday that Assad was called to Russia to get him to agree to potential peace initiatives drafted by Russia, Iran and Turkey. PTI