US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had a “very good” telephonic talk about ending the war in Syria and resolving the “very dangerous” situation in North Korea, the White House has said. In their first conversation since the US launched missiles against an air base in Syria outraging Russia, the two leaders also discussed at length working together to eradicate terrorism throughout the Middle East and spoke about how best to resolve the “very dangerous” situation in North Korea. “President Trump and President Putin agreed that the suffering in Syria has gone on for far too long and that all parties must do all they can to end the violence,” the White the White House said yesterday.
The conversation was a “very good one” that included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones in Syria “to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons”, it said. The US will be sending a representative to the ceasefire talks in Astana, Kazakhstan on May 3-4, it added. “They also discussed at length working together to eradicate terrorism throughout the Middle East. Finally, they spoke about how best to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea,” the White House said.
Putin even invited Trump to talk more — and to meet face-to-face when both leaders are in Hamburg, Germany for the G-20 summit of major economic powers in July. The FBI is still investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
The US military action in Syria after the suspected use of the chemical agent sarin against civilians sparked new tensions between Washington and Moscow, one of the Syrian government’s strongest backers. Trump’s top advisers, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, leveled blistering criticism on Russia and Putin following the chemical weapons attack.